Comelec eyes May 24 for special elections in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is planning to hold the special polls for Tubaran, Lanao del Sur on May 24 after failure of elections were declared in 12 barangays there, acting spokesperson Rex Laudiangco announced on Saturday.

He stressed that this is just a projected date, as Comelec must first ensure that poll-related violence in the area had already ceased.

“Right now, the situation there is contained, the violence has been quelled and controlled, and all the preparations are being done in order to pursue the special elections,” Laudiangco said in a media briefing.

Tubaran, which has a history of election-related violence, has been placed under Comelec control since March.

On May 11, the poll body declared failure of elections in 14 barangays in the municipalities of Butig, Bidayan and Tubaran.

Twelve of these barangays are in Tubaran, namely Tangcal, Datumanong, Guiarong, Baguiangun, Wago, Malaganding, Gadongan, Riantaran, Pagalamatan, Mindamunag, Paigoday-pimbataan and Metadicop. 

According to Laudiangco, there is no need to reprint ballots or prepare vote counting machines, as all of these are with the Comelec and are intact.

He added that they will study if the special polls in Lanao del Sur will still affect the rankings in the national elections – as listed in the unofficial and nearly-completed Comelec tally – and delay the proclamation of winners.

However, he said they are “optimistic” that this will not be the case, considering that the number of voters in the concerned areas is relatively small.