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'Barangay polls generally peaceful'

THE casting of ballots for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) was «generally peaceful,» the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said Monday.

Speaking on the program «Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon,» PPCRV national coordinator Dr. Arwin Serrano said the polls were peaceful because the candidates behaved well, although there were reported incidents of campaigning during Election Day.

«BSKE candidates seemed well-behaved, although there were reports of campaigning by means of distributions of sample ballots and leaflets bearing the names of candidates, which is prohibited as those are examples of campaign materials,» Serrano said.

He added that some voters could not find their names on the voter list, a perennial problem every election cycle.

For BSKE, the PPCRV executive said they deployed over 250,000 volunteers nationwide but not in all voting precincts.

Serrano said the PPCRV's top priority was to have functional and peaceful elections with acceptable results.

As one of the Commission on Elections' deputized citizens-arm, the PPCRV advocates for electoral reforms while performing activities such as conducting parallel manual auditing for automated elections, coordinating parishes on poll-watching, providing legal assistance related to elections, reporting of electoral violations, providing voters' assistance services, and voters' education.

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) also said Monday's BSKE was peaceful.

«Namfrel observers reported that the voting process has been generally peaceful and orderly so far,» the group said.

It said observers reported that the Commission on Elections' Electoral Boards (Comelec EBs) appeared «well-prepared in general, citing their systematic handling of the process inside the polling places.»

Namfrel also noted that there was a high turnout of voters.