In Buhangin, Missing Names, Low Turnout

May. 14, 2007

Narito Prevendido Sr., 75, of Buhangin district, checks his tattered Comelec registration affidavit as he tries to find his name on the voters’ list. He eventuall got tired of looking. ( photo by Medel Hernani)

By Marietta Baste-Hernani

BUHANGIN, Davao City — As with other areas around the city, the missing names of voters was also a common complaint today at the Buhangin Elementary School and at the Dumanlas Elementary Schools, all in the second district.

In the 2004 elections, Jane Brave, 50, her husband Benedicto and their daughter Jenny were able to vote. But in todays elections, only Benedictos name was on the voters list at Precinct 1598-A.

According to Jenny, they usually vote together and this morning left their home early, thinking that they would be able to finish voting early. Instead, they spent hours looking for their names.

The name of Narito Prevendido Sr., 75, was also missing in the list. He showed his tattered affidavit of Comelec registration, as if to prove that he was indeed registered at the precinct.

According to him, his head ached growing through the list and complained that the text of the list were too small for his frail eyes. Tired, he simply leaned back at a post, unable to vote.

The Buhangin district has 83 precincts and a total of 16,000 voters, according to Arturo S. dela Cruz, overall supervisor at the Buhangin Central Elementary School. According to him, only about 50 to 60 percent of the registered voters were able to cast their ballots.

At the Dumanlas Elementary School, the turnout was only between 50 and 55 percent, according to Lilia Tibug, the school supervisor.

Tito Tuquib, deputy supervisor at the Dumanlas Elementary School, theorized that the low turnout could be because people have lost interest in elections and that, besides, the voters probably tended to their livelihood instead of closing shop just to vote.

According to Ricardo Sandoval, a 46-year-old carpenter who had served twice as an election watcher at the Dumanlas Elementary School, the voting in 2004 lasted up to 3 p.m., when people still lined up. In Mondays election, the number of voters thinned out by 10 a.m. (Marietta Baste-Hernani/

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