Tension mars opening of BOL plebiscite in Cotabato City, teachers fail to arrive in 24 clustered precincts



(Eagle News) Police, instead of teachers manned several polling precincts, in Cotabato City due to the late arrival and in some instances non-arrival of teachers in the area.

According to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Commission on Elections director Ray Sumalipao, some 24 clustered precincts were affected. At least 72 teachers were replaced by police personnel.

Election paraphernalia also arrived late. Voting for the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite thus started late, at 10 a.m., on Monday, January 21.

Tension was felt in polling precincts in Cotabato City with the start of the plebiscite. There were delays in the distribution of voting paraphernalia in several schools, including at the Cotabato City Central Pilot School and Sero Central Elementary School.

Some of the teachers backed out from serving as plebiscite committee members.

There were also reports of delays in the arrival of ballot boxes.  (with reports and video from Eagle News Service correspondent Odessa Cruz)