Special polls to be held on May 28, Comelec says

On May 28, special polls will be held in areas where voting was postponed, including seven municipalities in Lanao del Sur, two barangays in Basilan, and a barangay in Iloilo and one in Samar.

This was announced by Commission on Elections (Comelec) official Gregorio Larrazabal at a press briefing held on Thursday.

Last May 10, on election day, the Comelec recommended that failure of elections be declared in Lumba Bayabao, Lumbaca Unayan, Marogong, Masiu, Sultan Dumalondong, Tubaran and Bayang, in Lanao del Sur and barangays Upper and Lower Mahaybahay in Maluso, Basilan.

No voting was conducted in the said towns in Lanao del Sur because the teachers who were supposed to serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) there did not show up on election day, the Comelec said in its Resolution 8921.

Some BEIs in Basilan were not able to perform their functions on May 10, the same resolution said.

On the other hand, Comelec Resolution 8899 says that elections in Brgy. Generosa, Guimbal in Iloilo and in Brgy. Buenas Aires in Pagsangjan, Western Samar were postponed after their ballots were mistakenly interchanged.

The poll body has yet to receive any complaints about conducting the special polls on a Friday, the scheduled day of worship for Muslims, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said during the same briefing.

Most of the voters in the areas where elections were postponed are Muslims.

"If it really is an issue, then we can reschedule. But as of the moment, it doesn’t seem to be an issue. If it becomes necessary, then were open to discussing the dates again," Jimenez said.

The Omnibus Election Code gives the poll body 30 days to reschedule polls once the reasons for failure of elections in these areas disappear. The code says that the suspension of elections may occur “after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns." - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

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