Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Barangay Election 07 - A Sad Scenario

Being a public school teacher. I was assigned as Chairman of Board or Election Tellers. The electoral process was ideally peaceful in Golden Acres National High School, where residents of Talon 5, Las Pinas/MM were designated to cast their votes. Some voters did not bring any identification card. I did not allow them to cast their vote. I requested the voter to get approval from the Principal, who, then issued a verbal order that voters should be allowed to vote as long as their names appear on the list of voters.

In my precinct, 577-C, only 45 out of 195 voters, made it to the polling place. So the appreciation of votes was completed in less than an hour. After all the post election procedures were undertaken, we lined up for the pick up service to transport us to the City Hall of Las Pinas where we are supposed to surrender the ballot boxes. It was drizzling, some tummies were rumbling and only one unit fetched the BETs. Our faculty president drove his motorbike to the City Hall. When he came back, we were still in the school ground where he left us. Feeling our anguish, he burst his temper, saying "Only Talon 5 ballot boxes have not been returned. COMELEC allows the BETs to return the ballot boxes on their own. To this, 2 sectors reacted. Comelec reps, and candidates' watchmen. A familiar face was offering his private vehicle. Just in time, the pick up vehicle arrived. We shoved ourselves to the vehicle eager to do away with the ballot box which was a life threat to us. And off we go.....

No, we're not taking the route to City Hall! The private car behind us made sure we will be brought to Moonwalk Elem. What for? Heated confrontations ensued. A man in military uniform introduced himself as a Colonel ordered us to surrender our ballot boxes. A wife of candidate, a teacher in that school, introduced herself as Mrs. Dinorog, also demanded that we bring the ballot boxes to the principal's office. Hey, what's the fuss! The election returns are not inside the ballot boxes. We surrendered them to our Principal! How ignorant can they be! Harassing us to the point of delaying the turn over of ballot boxes which are inutile for their ulterior motives! Mrs. Elvira Victoria, our spokesman, talked to the SWAT Team and identified the self-promoted Colonel while Ranie talked to the school principal. Soon, our own principal came with the election returns. It was only then that the driveway was cleared and we were allowed to proceed to City Hall. In our drive to the City Hall, the private car UPG-991 tailed us together with dozens of motorbike-riding supporters of candidates.

From this day on, I will never serve in the Barangay Election.

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