MIDWAY into the holding of the midterm elections, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 said it did not receive reports of election-related violent incidents (ERVI) on May 13, 2019.
PRO-6 spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong said they received numerous complaints of vote buying activities in Western Visayas.
There are 73 recorded vote buying activities monitored/recorded, of which 55 are under investigation and three cases were filed before the Prosecutors Office, Malong said.
As a result of massive operations, 35 persons were accosted and three minors were rescued.
The operations led to the recovery of P21,700 cash.
Malong said reported election violations have been addressed through the deployment of Anti-Vote Buying Operating Teams.
Meanwhile, police were able to conduct four positive operations relative to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10461 (Liquor Ban) which led to the arrest of 24 violators.
So far, we received no request for police assistance, Malong said.
Malong said the opening of voting centers ran smoothly, as all 3,554 voting centers reportedly opened at 6 a.m.
Six hours later, PRO-6 said 961,767, or 20 percent of the 4,808,839 total registered voters already cast their votes.
Casting of votes immediately started, except for one precinct at Tabao Rizal Polling Center in San Enrique, Negros Occidental due to the mis-delivery of 220 official ballots to Anilao, Iloilo.
The 220 official ballots are part of the 895 official ballots intended for Tabao Rizal Voting Center, Malong said.
But the Regional Task Group for the 2019 national and local elections (NLE) immediately coordinated with all concerned officers for the security and delivery of mis-delivered official ballots.
The Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC) based in Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) at Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City received reports of four vote counting machines (VCMs) that malfunctioned.
These are in Balcon Maravilla Elementary School in Jordan, Guimaras; in Patrcicia Elementary School in Brgy. Granada and in Punta Taytay, both in Bacolod City; and in Roxas City, Capiz.
The Regional Task Group for 2019 Midterm Elections provided comprehensive security and safety coverage over 3,554 voting centers throughout the region through the deployment of 11,824 PNP security personnel.
They are complemented by the 1,942 personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 397 from Philippine Coast Guard.
The non-occurrence of violent incidents or suspected violent incidents, as of 12:00 noon, relative to the elections concludes that the elections is generally peaceful, except for the minor mis-delivery in San Enrique, Negros Occidental to Anilao, Iloilo, Malong said.
As to security situation, all deployed security personnel particularly in critical areas were reminded to undertake necessary security measures and precautions to preempt the local communists threat on agaw-armas, she said.
It was gathered that permit to campaign activities allegedly done by the New Peoples Army are monitored in the municipalities of Lemery in Iloilo and Dumarao and Dumalag in Capiz.
But the PNPs quick response forces (QRFs) are covering the field to ensure the safety and security of the electorate, the COMELEC personnel and the security details assigned in the voting centers, Malong said.