Poll delays irk Aquino

Posted at 10/25/2010 11:43 AM | Updated as of 10/25/2010 3:20 PM

Declaration of area-specific holidays possible

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said he was dissatisfied with the performance of the Commission on Elections after receiving reports of delayed deliveries of election paraphernalia in certain parts of the country before Monday's barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

In a press conference after casting his vote at the Central Azucarera Elementary School in San Miguel, Tarlac, Aquino told reporters “Paano ka masa-satisfy doon? Compared to the automated elections, mas simpleng undertaking ito.”

The poll body blamed the delays in the printing of ballots for the delays in its deliveries. In some parts of the countries, elections started late.

Aquino said laws have been clear, specifically the schedule on the implementation of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

“Mukhang hindi nahanda ng maayos…kailangang malaman ang dahilan,” he said.

Nevertheless, Aquino urged voters to still go out and vote despite the hitches.

Extension of election hours

He said Comelec will already extend voting hours in areas affected by the delays.

It is also possible that area-specific holidays will be declared so as to accommodate voters, he added.

He said he is just waiting for a report from the poll body.

In the meantime, he told voters to exercise their right to vote. “Ang barangay ang immediate na tumutulong…napakaimportante nito, sila rin ang nagtatakda sa tagumpay ng gobyerno.”

Violence in certain areas

Aquino also said Malacanang is constantly monitoring incidents of election-related violence.

He said the police are very specific on Abra and Masbate where private armies are used by certain local officials.

The President said he will be sitting down with the officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Interior and Local Government to discuss what could be done to prevent untoward incidents in the future.

“We will conduct what’s necessary to forestall the violence. Importanteng mahuli at makulong ang mga perpetrators,” he said.