Comelec holds special elections for 19,000 voters

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, May 14, is holding special elections for around 19,000 voters in 55 clustered polling precincts where the Comelec declared a failure of elections last May 9.

The Comelec said special elections will be held for various reasons, including logistical and technical concerns.

In a polling precinct in Western Samar, a vote-counting machine (VCM) was burned by 3 armed men with bonnets at around 3:25 pm on May 9. The assailants also destroyed all election paraphernalia and related documents. Only voting receipts had been left intact in that polling precinct.

In Barangay Gabi, Cordova, Cebu, 436 voters failed to vote because the polling precinct ran out of official ballots. In its Resolution 10129, which declared special elections in several areas, the Comelec didn’t explain why this happened.

The lack of ballots, however, happened after the Comelec allowed voters to get one replacement ballot each, provided the VCM rejected their ballots through no fault of theirs.

Meanwhile, in an area in Sulu, teachers serving as election inspectors "did not report on election day" at Kayawan Primary School.

Precincts with special elections

The following specific areas are holding special elections on Saturday: 

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body is waiting for the results of Saturday’s special elections before proclaiming the winning senators and party-list groups.

He said the proclamation of the new senators and party-list groups is likely to be held on Tuesday or Thursday, May 17 or 19. –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at