Probe urged on floating ballot box found in Maguindanao

Probe urged on floating ballot box found in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY — Residents of the Maguindanao town of Datu Salibo have asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to probe the discovery of a mysterious ballot box with election documents for the May 13 elections.

“We ask the Comelec to investigate it, this is clearly a proof there was cheating in last month’s election here in Datu Salibo,” Sam Esmael said in a radio interview Monday.

Sam Esmael, a resident of Datu Salibo, said the poll body should invalidate the proclamation of winners in the town’s election until after the investigation.

Esmael posted on Facebook a photo of the ballot box found floating at the back of the town hall building in Barangay Sambulawan, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao.

Local fisherman Modz Mindao found the ballot box at about 4 p.m. on Friday in a marsh at the back of the town hall. He quickly alerted his neighbors about his discovery, according to Esmael.

Comelec records show that Datu Salibo has 9,504 registered voters, about 5,000 of whom participated in the elections.

Solaiman Sandigan, the challenger for the mayoral post, was proclaimed mayor-elect by garnering 2,279 votes against reelectionist Mayor Norodin Salasal’s 1,147 votes.

Maryann Marohombsar was the town election officer at the time of election and efforts to reach her for comments failed as of this posting.  Edwin Fernandez / PNA –