120 ballots for Alburquerque, Bohol end up in Bangbang, Cordova
CORDOVA, Cebu, Philippines — How did 120 official ballots intended for Alburquerque, Bohol end up in Cordova town’s Bangbang Elementary School?
Ferdinand Hortelano, Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer in the town of Cordova, is not sure how this happened.
“Basin nasipyat lang. Na-misdeliver or posible na mix up,” Hortelano said.
(They may have committed a mistake. They probably misdelivered the ballots or it is possible that they mixed them up,” Hortelano told reporters in an interview with reporters today, May 13, 2019.
Hortelano said the ballots were meant for Alburquerque, Bohol but were found among the ballots in one one of the precincts in Bangbang Elementary School, Barangay Bangbang, Cordova town.
Alburquerque is a municipality in Bohol province that is located 18 kilometres from Tagbilaran City via the Bohol Circumferential Road or Tagbilaran East Road.
Hortelano said seven out of the 120 ballots were distributed and shaded by voters at 8 a.m.
They only discovered that the ballots are not for their area because the vote counting machine (VCM) in Cluster Precinct 12 did not read and scan the ballots.
“We saw the ballot ID and the cluster number, they were different. The ballot had the name of the specific place (that is not Cordova),” he told reporters in a press briefing.
The ballots were immediately replaced by the members of the Electoral Board (EB).
No similar incidents were reported in other polling areas in Cordova town but Hortelano said he already instructed the EB to conduct manual inspection of the ballots before distributing them to voters.
“They were instructed, even during our orientations, to verify the official ballots distributed; to check (if they are the) correct (ballots),” he said.
Hortelano said ballots intended for Alburquerque will be turned over to Comelec Cebu Province.
Hortelano believes that the number of misdelivered ballots will not affect the election proceedings in Alburquerque, Bohol.
He said based on their experiences on previous elections, only 80 percent of the voters will cast their votes. / celr
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