PEACEFUL AND ORDERLY EV ELECTIONS. Thus said lawyer Rafael Olaño, regional director of the Commission on Elections,describing the conduct of the balloting in the region that was marked with technical problems involving vote counting machines and SD cards and massive vote-buying. Photo shows Tacloban City newly-elected mayor, Alfred Romualdez, have casted his vote at the Panalaron Central School.

Despite of some technical glitches


TACLOBAN CITY- Despite of some technical glitches, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) described as successful the Monday’s balloting here in the region.
In fact, the poll body projects that around 85 percent of the region’s more than 3.05 million voters have cast their ballots to fill up the positions up for grabs.
Lawyer Rafael Olaño, Comelec regional director, admitted that while there were SD (secure digital) cards and vote counting machines (VCMs) that malfunctioned during the balloting, these were minor and did not hamper the conduct of the balloting.
“ The conduct of the elections here in region was generally peaceful and orderly (as there were no major) problems encountered except that there were around 30 SD cards and several VMCs that malfunctioned but these are just technical glitches which were replaced right away,” Olaño said in an interview.
He, however, admitted that proclamation of some of the winners have to be delayed due to the malfunctioned SD cards as these are to be reconfigured by the technicians hired by the poll body.
The SD cards contains data that are to be fed to the VCMs.
Among affected by the malfunctioned SD cards are poll winners in Tacloban City. They, however, are expected to be proclaimed Tuesday night or the following day.
In Calbayog City, more than 20 SD cards were also discovered to have malfunctioned reason these are not to be reconfigured.
But Olaño said that these SD cards did not suffer any problem during the final testing and sealing which was held on May 8.
He, also assured that the integrity of the results could not be affected despite these SD cards were corrupted.
The Comelec regional director said that there was also no reported failure of elections except in Las Navas where some members of the board of elections inspectors were harassed by some certain armed group.
Olaño said that he would like to give credit to both the Philippine National Police and the Army for their effort in ensuring that the balloting here in the region would be peaceful and orderly.
“I credit the PNP and the Army which came up strategies to ensure that the elections here in the region would be peaceful and orderly,” he said.
The PNP in the region deployed 1, 390 policemen as well as around 2,000 soldiers across the region, particularly on the 11 areas earlier identified as potential flash points due to presence of the rebel groups or private armed group coupled with intense political rivalries.
While the elections were marked with massive vote-buying the amount ranging from P20 to as high as P4,500, their office did not received any formal complaint regarding such incident, Olaño said.
He also said that the winners of the electoral exercise in the region were the ones who were actually voted by their respective voters. (With reports RONALD O. REYES)