MANILA, (PNA) — Three days before the barangay polls, the Commission on Elections reminded the voters to make sure that names of the candidates are properly written on the ballot so their votes will not be declared invalid.
“Ang warning lang is tingnan ninyo mabuti kung pareho family name tingnan ninyo na ilagay ninyo ‘yung first name para hindi ma-stray ‘yung balota,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes in an interview.
He noted that based on the Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) filed by those running in Monday’s polls, some have the same surname.
“Meron naman rules on appreciation of ballots. Iappreciate naman namin kung first name only or surname only pero preferably kasi barangay ito, we noticed in the COCs maraming magkakapareho family name,” the poll body chief added.
Among the provisions in the appreciation of the ballot under Comelec Resolution No. 9751, are: if the first name or surname of a candidate is written, the vote for such candidate is valid, if there is no other candidate with the same first name or surname for the same office.
In the case only the first name of a candidate is written on the ballot which when read has a sound similar to the surname of another candidate, the vote shall be counted in favor of the candidate with such surname.
If there are two or more candidates with the same full name, first name or surname and one of them is the incumbent, and on the ballot is written only such full name, first name or surname, the vote shall be counted in favor of the incumbent, among others.
Brilliantes said in the appreciation of the ballots, every ballot shall be presumed valid unless there is clear and good reason to justify its rejection.
In case there are questions on the appreciation of ballots, it shall be decided by a majority of the members of the BET.
No watcher, candidate, or any other person inside the polling place shall be allowed to participate in the appreciation of ballots, except that any watcher may file a protest which shall be recorded in the Minutes.