Davao Norte election mirrors voters maturity — Comelec

May. 18, 2007

By Jean Duron-Abangan

TAGUM CITY—- Less complaints, peaceful and the quick canvassing of votes, Commission on Election (COMELEC) election supervisor Atty. Marlon Casquejo cited these attributes in saying that electorates in Davao del Norte have gained a certain degree of maturity.

COMELEC Davao del Norte proclaimed winners of the provincial race in the May 14 election early dawn (1 a.m.) of May 18 (Friday) at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Session Hall where it conducted canvassing of votes.

Casquejo said the canvassing went on smoothly with no objections from the losing parties.

Meaning, losing parties have open hearts to accept defeat. he said. In fact our incumbent Governor (Gelacio Gementiza) conceded the day after the election, he added.

Gementiza will be losing his seat as governor to Rodolfo del Rosario who grabbed a huge chunk of votes cast for gubernatorial slate.

Unlike in other provinces where candidates were openly slinging mud just to discredit the other, Casquejo said such was not so vocally and openly done in Davao del Norte.

He gave credit to the province electorates for not listening to mudslinging but instead look at the credibility and capability of candidates whom they cast their votes for.

People now are taking a different twist in choosing a candidate. Mudslinging bears no so much significance for them, he said in dialect.

Casquejo counted the high voting turnout of about 80 percent as an indicator of electorates value for their right to suffrage. Thats significantly high, he said.

Davao del Norte had a total of 428,823 total registered voters listed during the May 14 elections.

Casquejo admitted there were verbal complaints regarding vote-buying but he said he could not confirm such because this was not officially lodged before his office and that he had no first-hand information regarding it.

Harassment of any form had not been reported but there were complaints regarding lost names on the list of voters, he said.

Meanwhile, Casquejo extended thanks to the military and to the police for ensuring a peaceful election, for helping secure the sanctity of the ballots, and for providing security not only to the poll workers but to the general public as well. (PIA XI/JMDA)

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