PUERTO GALERA, Oriental Mindoro—Concerned residents here have called the attention of the Commission on Elections to investigate reports of widespread registration of alleged flying voters in the last days of biometrics registration for the May 9, 2016 synchronized elections.
A similar incident was also reported in Calapan City.
“If proven true by authorities, this is an act of political desperation mainly designed to win and perpetuate oneself in power,” Puerto Galera resident Leocadio Atienza told The Standard.
On Oct. 24, six days before the registration deadline, 64 transferees from Pinamalayan municipality, loaded in several jeepneys, reportedly registered at the Comelec office here.
Pinamalayan town is located more than 120 kilometers southwest of this resort town. Pinamalayan’s mayoral and vice mayoral candidates are running unopposed in the coming local elections.
Puerto Galera, on the other hand, will see the rivalry between siblings former Mayor Aristeo Atienza and his sister, retired school teacher Estrellita Atienza Dolor, as well as against Barangay Sabang chairman Rockey Ilagan.
Dolor is the mother of outgoing Puerto Galera Mayor Hubbert A. Dolor and reelectionist Oriental Mindoro Vice Gov. Humerlito A. Dolor.
Pinamalayan and Puerto Galera towns are known strongholds of both outgoing and incumbent administration Liberal Party candidates.
On Oct. 31, the last day of registration, 40 unidentified persons were reportedly confined inside a room beside the Comelec office for unknown reasons.
Ricardo B. Ylagan, a Barangay Sabang resident, said he was told to leave the municipal building when he went to see Puerto Galera election officer Evelyn Fedelizio to inquire about the status of the 40 unidentified persons inside the locked room.
“Two armed civilians told me to leave the Comelec when I was signing in at the logbook. It was 9:30 in the evening when many applicants were still outside the municipal hall building waiting for their turn to register,” Ylagan said. “They held my arms, but I refused to leave,” he added.
Ms. Fedelizio has been serving as Puerto Galera election officer for more than nine years which violates the Omnibus Election Code.