Makati centenarian still votes despite age

MANILA Many elderly voters in Makati City went to the polling precincts early Monday to avoid the long queues that typically build up from midday to late afternoon of election day.

One of them is 100-year-old Marolina Mendoza, a registered voter in Makati for more than 40 years, who voted at a polling precinct in Barangay San Antonio.

Hindi naman ako nahirapan sa pagboto. Tumulong yung anak ko sa paghanap ng pangalan ko sa listahan. May polling precinct sa ibaba para sa mga senior citizens (I did not encounter any problem in voting. My daughter was the one who checked my name on the voter's list. There was a designated precinct for senior citizens at the ground floor), Mendoza told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

She said she made a list of candidates a few days before the election to reduce the time she would spend at the polling precinct.

She also said she was satisfied with the performance of the Makati City government, especially in the delivery of health and social services to senior citizens like her.

Malaking tulong ang yellow card sa gastos ko sa mga gamot. Yung mga gamot ko pinadadala na mismo sa bahay ko (The city government's yellow card is a great help in shouldering my medical expenses. My medicines are delivered right to my house), Mendoza said.

Back-up VCMs

Meanwhile, poll watchers in Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo said polling precincts have back-up vote counting machines (VCMs) on standby that can be used in case some VCMs malfunction during the elections.

Sa ngayon, maayos naman ang botohan. May second vote counting machine na pwedeng magamit in case magkaroon ng problema sa makina (So far, voting has been going smoothly. There is a second vote counting machine that can be used in case there are malfunctions), said a poll watcher of the political party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) assigned at the San Jose Elementary School.

Ex-VP Binay's ballot rejected

Former vice president and Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay was not able to cast his vote earlier in the day after his ballot was rejected eight times by the VCM.

Binay, who voted at the San Antonio National High School at about 7 a.m., was disappointed as polling officers were unable to explain why his ballot was rejected by the machine.

Galit ako! Galit ako! Bakit na-disenfranchise ang boto ko (I'm furious. Why was my vote disenfranchised)? Binay told reporters, noting that there was no reason for his ballot to be rejected as it did not contain any stray mark.

He said the ballot of the voter who was ahead of him was rejected as well.

The voter got some dirt on the ballot so the VCM considered it as stray mark, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel later explained to Binay.

Binay was eventually able to vote anew at about 11 a.m. after he proceeded to the headquarters of the National Board of Canvassers at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City to report his rejected ballot.

Binay is running as representative in the first congressional district of Makati against former acting city mayor Romulo PeAa.

Makati City has a total of 397,587 registered voters, according to data gathered by the Comelec during the 2016 national and local elections. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency