By the EDGE DAVAO EDITORIAL TEAM
Reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar took the early lead in the Senatorial race which saw administration bets crowding the top 12 slots based on unofficial partial returns.
Partial, unofficial results aggregated from Comelec data as of Monday, May 13, 2019, at 6:15 PM representing 0.4% of election returns saw Villar, one of the 13 candidates endorsed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), taking the top spot with 93,660 votes. Eight other HNP bets made it to the early dozen with Dabawenyos former President Duterte top aide Christopher “Bong” Go at no. 3 with 73,786 votes and former PNP and Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato Dela Rosa at no. 5 with 67,102 votes.
Another re-electionist Grace Poe (Independent) is at no. 2 with 83,258 while HNP’s comebacking former Senator Pia Cayetano is at no. 4 with 72,105.
Rouding up the top 12 are Sonny Angara (LDP) with 65,916, Imee Marcos (NP) 65,816, Lito Lapid (NPC) 65,753, Francis Tolentino (PDP-Laban) 56,274, Nancy Binay (UNA) 55,616, Bong Revilla (Lakas) 53,528 and JV Ejercito (NPC) 52,097.
The opposition Otso Diretso had no one cracking the Magic 12 although reelectionist Bam Aquino is close by at no. 13 with 51,605. Former Senate President Koko Pimentel (PDP-Laban) is at no. 14 with 51,017 and Jinggoy Estrada (PMP) is at no. 15 with 43,508.
There were no surprises in the early turnover, however, as this looked close to the last poll surveys conducted nationwide.
President Rodrigo Duterte voted at around 4:35 pm at Cluster 361 Precinct 1245A at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Matina, Davao City. Earlier, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte voted in the same polling center in the morning.
“If you agree with me (my administration), then you can vote all my candidates and support them this election. Now if I’ll be recompleted by the loss of all the Hugpong (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) slate, then I could indicate that the majority of the people, ayaw nila ako,” President Duterte told reporters after he emerged from the precinct.
Long queues were experienced in several polling centers in Davao City. Senatorial aspirant Bong Go, who casted his vote in Cluster 457 Precinct 1658A in Buhangin Elementary School, waited for two hours before his turn came.
The police and military in Davao Region reported 8 cases of vote buying but only two were validated and the suspects arrested. There were also 67 reported violations of the 48-hour election liquor ban.
Overall, Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 regional director Police BGen Marcelo Morales said the elections in Davao Region was “generally peaceful and orderly.”
The regional office of the Commission on Elections in Davao said no major issues were encountered in Davao Region Monday’s elections although 110 vote counting machines (VCM) were reported to have malfunctioned. The defective machines were replaced by standby VCMs. A total of 3,771 VCMs were used in the region.
Monday’s elections were marred by malfunctioning VCMs with some 400 to 600 machines conking out across the country.
“Problems are common. But we have contingency plans and constant monitoring para ma-address agad ang issues in case magkaroon”, acting city election officer and Comelec Region 11 spokesperson lawyer Krishna Samantha T. Caballero told Edge Davao in an interview.
Caballero also said they experienced a glitch from the VRVM (Voter Registration Verification Machine) which she said was anticipated.
“Ang nagloko kanina is the VRVM (Voter Registration Verification Machine). Since Davao city is the pilot area hence issues were anticipated. So expected na magkakaproblema since it is the first time”, Caballero said.