Vote 2013

ARMM Watch: Lanao del Sur

FOLLOWING are links to articles VERA Files had  written on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)  Elections in the province of Lanao del Sur.  VERA Files is reposting these stories in preparation for the scheduled general registration of voters in the provinces of ARMM on July 9 to July 18, 2012. 

 Violence, vote-buying mar special polls in Lanao Sur • June 4, 2010

ILIGAN CITY.—Reports of fraud and violence marked the special elections held in Lanao del Sur Thursday as vote-buying proliferated, with the price pegged at anywhere from P10,000 to 15,000 per family.

This was the report made by the Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reform (Citizens CARE), an election watchdog in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which monitored the conduct of special election in the Lanao areas.

Citizens CARE also said the indiscriminate firing of guns left a nine-year-old girl in critical condition.

Special elections were conducted in 190 clustered precincts in seven towns in Lanao del Sur based on Comelec Resolution 8965. »Read More

9 Lanao Sur ghost precincts send poll results to Comelec server • May 25, 2010

MARAWI CITY.— Election results transmitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central server after the May 10 polls include those from nine ghost precincts in Lanao del Sur.

One of these precincts is located in a ghost barangay named Padian Torogan which, in Maranao, means cemetery.

The nine precincts are in Madalum town which Renault Macarambon, Comelec assistant regional director in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has confirmed to be non-existent.

Comelec figures show that elections took place in these ghost precincts, with a voter turnout of 69 percent or  893 of 1,283 supposed registered voters. The results from the phantom precincts can be viewed at the Comelec’s election results website,»Read More

Maranao leaders on special polls: Never on a Friday • May 25, 2010

ILIGAN CITY.—Maranao leaders in Lanao del Sur have opposed the holding of special elections in seven towns on May 28 because the date falls on a Friday, an Islamic holy day.

“We are appealing that it be moved to another date. We hope the Comelec would recognize our religious sensibilities,” said Abul Alibasa of the Ranaw Youth for Peace and Sustainable Development.

As a result of the protest, Comelec has moved the date of the Lanao del Sur special elections to Saturday, May 29.

Alibasa noted that the seven towns “are predominantly, if not entirely, Muslim communities.” »Read More

Old-style violence in Lanao Sur despite automated polls • May 12, 2010

THE automated election system failed to bring change to Lanao del Sur traditional warlord and goon country of Mindanao where violence and a low voter turnout marked the May 10 elections, as they did in the past.

The police, military and election watchdog groups reported incidents of killings, explosions, abductions and gunfights between opposing camps in this province, which has traditionally been the backdrop of the worst cases of dagdag-bawas (vote padding and shaving), when counting was done manually.

But voters in seven towns did not get a taste of the new automated system because teachers failed to show up for election duty as members of the Boards of Election Inspectors amid the climate of fear. »Read More

5 killed, 10 wounded in 14 ERVs in Western Mindanao • May 11, 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY– Five persons were killed and 10 others were wounded in 14 incidents of election related violence in the provinces covered by the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (WesMinCom).

WesMinCom chief Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino also reported one incident of ballot snatching and the declaration of failure of elections in seven towns  during a press conference organized by the United Front for Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections (UF-Hope) late Monday  night.

In Lanao del Sur, five incidents of bombing and four incidents of strafing were reported. One person was killed. The perpetrators were not yet named as of press time. »Read More

Election Day: Most peaceful yet more violent? • May 10, 2010

AT LEAST a dozen people were killed and another dozen injured on Election Day today in what police declare as the “most peaceful elections so far” but in what a Commission on Elections official considers as more violent than the country’s past elections.

Task Force Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections (Task Force HOPE) of the Armed Forces recorded 37 cases of election-related violence nationwide on Monday, including six shooting incidents, 13 episodes of harassment, five encounters, five cases of voters intimation, three mauling incidents and two bomb explosions. The task force also monitored the confiscation of a firearm and a ballot snatching incident.

The Philippine National Police and the AFP have been on full red alert for the elections. »Read More

Violence, low voter turnout, mark polls in Lanao provinces • May 10, 2010

ILIGAN CITY.–Two persons lining up to vote at the Tugaya Central Elementary School ended up dead while another was wounded when a man identified as Albert Balindong strafed them at around 10:45 a.m., Major Ferdinand Cacas, head of the Philippine Army’s103rd Brigade Election Monitoring and Action Center, said.

Cacas added that the attack was apparently intended to disrupt the balloting process.

Voting in the area was immediately stopped but it proceeded as scheduled in other precincts. Authorities have yet to identify the victims. »Read More

Violence threatens conduct of Lanao polls • May 6, 2010

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur. – Like in the past, elections could be postponed in this province if poll-related violence incidents escalate in the next few days, warned a local nongovernment organization.

According to Maranao People Development Center (Maradeca), elections in Lanao del Sur had been postponed due to violence. In 2007, election officials declared a failure of elections in 11 towns because of threats of ballot snatching and the presence of armed men.

This year, the Philippine National Police has identified 38 of 39 towns as election hotspots in the province. Electoral violence is attributed to political rivalry and the presence of private armed groups. »Read More

Lanao Sur election death toll now 6; disorderly conduct of polls noted • July 27, 2008

ILIGAN CITY.–Six persons have been killed in election related violence in Lanao del Sur, a poll watchdog said.

Ibrahim Salic, head of Citizens Coalition for ARMM Responsible Election (Citizen’s CARE) reported that three were killed in an encounter Monday between armed men and soldiers in Kapai. »Read More

Did Mike Arroyo fund postelection “special operations” in Lanao? • July 28, 2008

POONA BAYABAO, Lanao del Sur — “Fernando Poe, Fernando Poe.” With clenched fists and his right hand raised, octogenarian Hadji Mohammad Monte repeated the name of the late action star like a mantra when asked whom he voted for in the last presidential elections. He insisted that Poe was number one among the residents of this town where the late king of Philippine movies was — and still is — very popular.

In fact, town residents cheered Monte on as they shouted, “FPJ! FPJ!” When asked, six of every 10 residents here claimed they had voted for Fernando Poe Jr. Only a few women admitted going for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but even they conceded that there was no way the movie icon could lose in a clean election here.

In the certificate of canvass that reached Congress, President Arroyo got 4,700 votes in Poona Bayabao, a fifth-class municipality in Lanao del Sur that is a 45-minute drive from Marawi City. All her rivals, including Poe, each scored a big, fat zero. »Read More

SAF commandos confirm 2004 poll fraud coverup  • July 27, 2008

WHEN Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivers her eighth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa session hall today, she will be standing close to where, three years ago, police commandos say they replaced genuine election returns (ERs) with fake ones in ballot boxes that were being readied for a recount of the 2004 presidential election.

The ER switching at the Batasan had been talked about and reported on since 2005, when Arroyo apologized to the nation for talking to an election official while the votes were being counted, in what has since been known as the “Hello, Garci” scandal.

 Recently, some of those who took part in that clandestine operation have sought legal refuge, executing affidavits and taped testimonies of their involvement. Others told friends in confidence, while a few boasted about it in drinking sessions. »Read More