More than 4,000 members of the Philippine National Police and the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army in Western Visayas have voted ahead of the May 9 national and local elections by availing of the local absentee voting (LAV).
“They were able to exercise their rights to suffrage, which is the right of every Filipino. This will now allow them to focus (on) their duty, during the actual Election Day – that is, to have a safe and peaceful election,” 3ID spokesperson, Capt. Kim Apitong, said in an interview on Saturday.
Apitong said they have yet to get the turnout of the absentee voting held from April 27 to 29, although 1,186 personnel of the 3ID across Western Visayas and Central Visayas registered for the LAV.
The voting was conducted in various military camps and included the 133 personnel assigned at their headquarters in Jamindan, Capiz.
Apitong himself availed of the LAV after failing to exercise his right of suffrage in several elections due to his assignments.
“It was a manual process but I already have my list so it was fast. I was a bit excited and hopeful that those I voted for will do great positive changes if they win,” he said, urging other voters to vote intelligently on May 9.
“In this digital age, we are positive that the Filipino people are smart enough who they are going to vote for. Your Army, with other state forces, will do our best to secure the voters for this NLE (national and local elections) 2022.”
Meanwhile, 96.76 percent or 4,119 of the 4,257 registered voters at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 (Western Visayas) cast their votes while 3.24 percent or 138 failed to vote.
“They have their personal reasons for not casting (their) votes. The LAV was fully disseminated and in fact, they applied to avail of it,” PRO-6 spokesperson, Lt. Col. Arnel Solis, said in a separate interview.
The Guimaras and Antique police offices reported a 100 percent voter turnout while Aklan has 99.68 percent, Capiz (97.63 percent), Iloilo (98.02 percent), and Negros Occidental (94.41 percent).
Capiz Provincial Election Supervisor, lawyer Salud Milagros Villanueva, who observed the conduct of the elections at the Army headquarters in Jamindan, said voters were only allowed to vote for the national positions – president, vice president, senators, and party-list.
The votes will be sent to their central office in Manila for the manual count that will be handled by the committee on local absentee voting.