LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Some 70 policemen and four newsmen in Pangasinan voted in advance for the mid-term polls through the local absentee voting (LAV) on Tuesday.
Dagupan City election officer lawyer Michael Sarmiento, in an interview Tuesday, said the policemen voted at the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, while the newsmen at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office simultaneously.
Sarmiento said the absentee voters were only allowed to vote for candidates in the national posts, such as Senate and party list.
“The voting system for LAV is still manual voting system,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sarmiento disclosed that the ballot boxes are already in the election hub in Urdaneta City, Calasiao and Alaminos City.
These will be distributed to the election offices all over the province starting Wednesday, while the vote counting machines will be deployed on the second week of May.
“In Dagupan City, we are 95 percent ready for the polls as we are just waiting for the election materials to be turned-over to us,” he said.
Sarmiento said the electoral boards in the city have just finished their final briefing on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, he admitted they continue to receive reports on alleged vote-buying in the city, which they usually coordinate with the Dagupan City Police Station which in turn conducts verification on the reported area.
“The problem is, people keep the goods and we cannot get actual footage. There was even one time when the people got mad at us because we conducted a raid in the area where there was alleged vote buying,” Sarmiento said.
He added these were just reports but no formal complaint has been filed with their office.
“Addressing vote buying is also a responsibility of voters. If they would refuse the goods or money then there will be no vote buying,” Sarmiento said. Hilda Austria / PNA – northboundasia.com