Controversies in the Philippine general election, 2010
Controversies abounded during the 2010 Philippine elections.
Before election day
Five days before the elections, petitions were made to postpone the elections due to technical malfunctions with the electronic voting machines. On May 7, 2010, the Supreme Court rejected the petitions, affirming the vote would go ahead as planned.
Failure of elections
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) declared failure of elections in seven municipalities in Lanao del Sur, two municipalities but with several barangays involved in Basilan and one municipality in Sarangani. While a postponement of elections was declared in one municipality of Iloilo and Samar due to accidental ballot-switching:
- Lanao del Sur
- Sultan Dumalondong: for lack of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)
- Tubaran: for lack of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)
- Masiu: for lack of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)
- Lumba-Bayabao: for lack of functioning electronic voting machines.
- Marogong: harassment of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)
- Lumbaca-Unayan: Objections of both parties on defective machines.
- Bayang: Poll-related violence.
- Glan, Sarangani: special polls in barangay Poblacion.
- Al-Barka, Basilan: special polls in the barangays Danapah, Kailih, Bato-Bato, Apil-Apil, Bucalao, Sangkahan, Campug and Look Bisaya.
- Maluso, Basilan: special polls in barangays Upper and Lower Mahayahay.
As such, special elections are to be held in those areas on June 3, 2010, while the following areas the elections will be held on May 29, 2010.
Malfunctioning voting machines
Several electronic voting machines malfunctioned, with some refusing to accept ballot papers, while others bogged down. As a result of the delays, COMELEC has extended voting hours from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
A series of explosions in Marawi, a sports utility vehicle parked in front of an elementary school exploded, followed by a series of explosions in Mindanao State University. The military said that he groups responsible for the bombings are trying scaring voters to prevent them from casting their votes. Armed supporters of contending vice mayoralty candidates in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao figured in a clash near the polling center. Another shooting incident occurred near a police station in Sambulawan, Datu Salibo. In both instances, voting was temporarily suspended in the surrounding area.
In La Union, four were hurt when a homemade bomb exploded in a corridor of the Saint Nicholas Academy. Despite this, voting proceeded. Meanwhile in Bacoor, Cavite, two were killed when they were shot while riding a van. Those who were killed might be supporters of Congressional candidate Plaridel Abaya, for the van they were riding sported his yellow stickers.
After Election Day
Missing PCOS machines at Antipolo
On May 13, about 65 PCOS machines (counting machines) were found in a house at Antipolo, Rizal. A Smartmatic (the company contracted to supply the voting machines) technician brought the machines to his house after the commission refused to accept them. The machines are supposed to stay inside the polling precincts the day after the election before being shipped. The commission officer in Antipolo refused to accept the machines saying that after the transmission of votes, the machines were now not under his jurisdiction. This caused doubts on the election result of the Antipolo mayoralty election in which Congressman Angelito Gatlabayan was beaten by Nilo Leyble.
The machines were taken to the Ynares Center where losing presidential candidates John Carlos de los Reyes, Jamby Madrigal and Nicanor Perlas opened the machines, an act in which the commission described as "illegal" and said that they will press charges against the three. The machines were later transferred to the custody of the Senate President.
- Pazzibugan, Dona (2010-05-08). "SC: It’s all systems go; Court junks petitions to postpone polls". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- "Failure of elections in 4 Lanao del Sur towns". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "IN THE MATTER OF POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTIONS IN SOME AREAS IN WESTERN SAMAR, ILOILO, SARANGGANI AND DECLARATION OF FAILURE OF ELECTIONS IN SOME AREAS IN LANAO DEL SUR AND BASILAN DURING THE MAY 10, 2010 AUTOMATED NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS". Commission on Elections. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Ballot, PCOS problems delay voting in some provinces". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Close of voting hours extended". Business World. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Explosions signal voting in Marawi City". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Groups clash in Maguindanao poll center; 2 die". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Bomb explodes in La Union polling booth, 4 hurt". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "2 killed in Bacoor shooting". Inquirer Southern Luzon. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- Marlon Ramos, Katherine Evangelista (2010-05-10). "Polls ‘generally peaceful’—AFP, PNP officials". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- Cueto, Francis Earl (2010-05-14). "65 PCOS machines discovered in Antipolo". The Manila Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- Beltran, Jill (2010-05-18). "Opening of PCOS machines in Antipolo (6:12 p.m.)". Sunstar. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- "60 controversial PCOS machines now in Senate custody". GMANews.tv (Yahoo! Philippines News). 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2010-05-21.