Even behind bars, more than 1,000 Cebu City jail inmates cast votes
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Inmates of the Cebu City Jail also exercised their right to suffrage today, May 13, even though they are behind bars.
Lieutenant Colonel Reynante Rubio, Cebu City Jail warden, told CDN Digital that they have been preparing for the elections several weeks ago.
“It took almost a month to prepare the elections here in the city jail because we had to identify the particular number of voters per barangay and then seek the approval of the Commission on Elections (Comelec),” said Rubio.
At least 1,095 inmates will cast their votes today, May 13, comprised of 463 voters in the North District and 632 voters in the South District.
Their ballots were brought by Electoral Board (EB) members of each particular barangay.
Rubio said election proceedings was generally smooth except for the delay of some ballots from certain barangays, which include Barangay Mabolo of the North District.
Rubio said some city jail guards were not allowed entry inside the school because they were armed.
The confusion was due to the lack of coordination between the barangay’s EB and Comelec Cebu City on the exact list of inmates voting under Barangay Mabolo.
Lawyer Chaunsey Boholst, North District election officer, said the jail guards are exempted from the gun ban because they are escorting the EB members.
The issue was settled after the ballots were brought safely to the Cebu City Jail.
As of 12:00, at least 20 precincts have been opened for voting. Rubio said they still consolidating the numbers of those who already voted.
Rubio said that the elections have been generally peaceful and orderly inside the Cebu City Jail. / cell
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