PIA News Service - Monday, May 10, 2010

Updates on the May 10, 2010 Elections:

SMS

In the 1st District of Surigao del Sur, except Lianga, all precincts were opened at 7am today. However, actual voting started few minutes. All is well as of this time. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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PCOS Machines found defective in Surigao City

5 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines failed to function in Surigao City, Monday morning.

City Comelec Officer Atty. Novern Irish Pasco said that as of this morning defective machines were reported in Brgy. Luna wherein one PCOS machine malfunctioned, one in Brgy. Poctoy, and three in Brgy. Mat-I.

Pacso said they only have two0 PCOS reserves. Defective machines are now currently undergoing repair from the SMARTMATIC technicians. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Surigao Bishop asks voters to vote according to their conscience

Bishop Antonieto Cabajog of the Diocese of Surigao urged all Surigaonon voters to elect leaders according to their conscience.

Cabajog, who is celebrating his birthday today, asks voters to vote whom they think will do good and who has compassion for the people.

Cabajog called on the people not to accept bribes from the politicians, “It will be your birthday gift to me if you will not accept any bribe from politicians who will dangle money in your areas hoping to buy your votes.”

Cabajog has also reiterated the church stand against bloc voting like what others do because “our people have the freedom to choose their candidates according to their conscience.” 
(PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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May 10 polls generally peaceful in Mindanao regions

Butuan City - The whole morning of the country’s historic and first automated May 10, 2010 polls is generally peaceful, top regional police and military officials reported. 

In their separate statements, Maj. Gen. Romeo Chan, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division; Chief Supt. Lino D. Calingasan, regional director of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) and Chief Supt. Conrado Laza, regional director of PRO 10, announced that no untoward incidents happened since the start of voting at 7 o’clock in the morning up to noon time of that same day. 

"Everything is normal and thank God that no untoward incident happened up to this time (12 noon)," they said in unison during separate phone interviews. 

They also said that heavy turn out was reported since 7 o’clock in the morning despite some scattered rains that occurred in various provinces and cities in Northeastern and Northern Mindanao regions. 

Only Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur in Northeastern Mindanao and nearby areas reportedly have low turnout due to heavy downpour for the past eight hours starting Monday dawn. 

Heavy downpour prevented some voters from going to the polling precincts in these reported provinces Monday morning. 

Police and the military also said there are some minor problems reported in some polling places. Some problems encountered are PCOS machines not responding and rejected the ballots cast by the voters, paper jam, over shedding and excess number of candidates shed by voters, missing names of voters in some precincts and some voters are wet due to the heavy downpour. 

Some of the precincts where PCOS machines malfunctioned happened at Agusan Pequino, Baan Riverside, Villa Kanangga and G.T. Domingo, all of Butuan City and Santiago Elementary School in Santiago, Agusan del Norte. 

However, the temporary delay of the malfunction of these PCOS machines were immediately addressed by the board of election inspectors (BEIs) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and technical men deployed by the Smartmatic in various polling precincts at various places in the two regions. 

"I’m happy to tell you that everything is going normal and above all our peace and order situation is also normal up to noontime," said Chief Supt. Calingasan. 

On the other hand, Chief Supt. Laza also reported that the manhandling incident of two block timers of TV-Channel 13 based in Cagayan de Oro by a candidate in Catarman, Camiguin province, is already investigated by the Camiguin provincial police office. 

Meanwhile, vote-buying of certain candidates was also reported since Sunday night and early Monday morning ranging from P500 up to P1,000 per voter. 

Chief Supt. Calingasan said this alleged information is currently being thoroughly looked into by the Comelec and Butuan City Police Office. 

On the other hand, the Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, through its spokesman Capt. Emmanuel R. Garcia, also reported that no untoward incident happened since 7 o’clock in the morning up to noon time in Southern Mindanao. 

"Everything runs smoothly, no untoward incident reported up to this time and our troops are on stand by," said Capt. Garcia. 

In a related development, due to heavy downpour that caused slow voting process at various places in the Caraga region, Region 13 Comelec Regional Director Francisco Pobe assured voters that casting of vote will continue even after 6 p.m. especially those who are already 30 meters away from the perimeter line to the polling precinct. (muc/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan's Amante, Aquino lead in mayoralty, congressional races

Butuan City - City mayoralty candidate Dr. Ferdinand M. Amante Jr. of the Liberal Party (LP) and congressional bet Jose S. Aquino II of Lakas-Kampi-CMD party, are both leading in the latest count of the City Board of Canvassers in this region's capital city. 

Amante's running mate, Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun, is also leading in the same latest count against incumbent Vice Mayor Dino Claudio M. Sanchez of Lakas Kampi-CMD party. 

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Amante garnered 57,732 against former city Mayor Leonides Theresa B. Plaza of Lakas-Kampi- CMD with 49,960 votes. 

Rep. Aquino also garnered 77,894 votes against Angelo A. Jimenez's 35,588 votes while Fortun also garnered 62,126 votes against Sanchez with only 39,125 votes. 

In Agusan del Sur, congressional race for 1st district -- Maria Valentina Plaza (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) garnered in the initial provincial board of canvassing count 61,748 votes against Roberto Aquino's (LP) 32,738 votes. 

In that same province's 2nd district congressional race -- Evelyn Plaza-Millana (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) garnered 51,210 votes against Ceferino Paredes Jr. with 35,188 votes. (muc/PIA-Caraga)