In SIR Matina, Families Are Torn Apart, the Dead Appeared on Voters List

May. 14, 2007

By Germelina Lacorte

DAVAO CITY — Families were torn apart, the dead appeared on the voters’ list, while some people stormed out after they lost their patience in today’s polls.

There may be no reported case of violence in Davao City but not a few people went home angry and exasperated after failing to find their names on the voters’ list.

Mario Maglupay, 67, appeared lost as he searched the list of names on the precinct in SIR-Matina here where his son, Mario Maglupay Jr. 33, has just voted. Maglupay said he has been a longtime residence of SIR-Matina. He has never been absent in the last elections, but how come he and his wife could not find their names today?

“This is the first time that happened to us,” he said, recalling how he was able to vote with the rest of the family during the last presidential elections.

“I’m supposed to be here,” he said, pointing to a spot on the list next to his son’s name. “We have the same family name. I have searched all the names with Ms and found Maglinis, a neighbor, he saisd. Where else should I look for my name?”

For voters like Maglupay, who looked so lost amid the sea of people, the day is simply too short to vote.

Elsie Libron, principal of the SIR-Matina, advised people like him to scour the names on the number of precincts in the area first before going to the principals office to look for their names in the voters’ masterlist. If they can’t find their names there, that’s the time to go to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to complain.

Outside one of the SIR buildings, Maglupay watched a crowd swarming around a person bearing a voters’ masterlist, waiting for their names to be called.

In SIR_Matina, where there are 20,000 voters the day was simply too short to vote.

Joel Azucena, a poll volunteer for Hugpong, Mayor Rodrigo Dutertes party, said many were shocked and disappointed to find the names of their dead relatives on the list but they could not find those of the living. Aries Mosquera, 22, said he found the name of his grandfather, Isabelo Mosquera, on the list of voters in the SIR precinct. “But he already passed away last year,” said Mosquera, who was able to vote.

Other people were not as lucky. Franco Remitar, 64, suspected that the reason he could not find his name might have something to do with his being identified with the opposition.

“I have been voting in this precinct in the previous elections, but now, I could no longer find my name all of a sudden,” he said. “Is that because I am with the opposition?”

Remitar said he had been a staunch supporter of the late Fernando Poe Jr., who won overwhelmingly in the city in the last election. “Now, it seems that they’re hell-bent in preventing us to vote,” said Remitar, who said that four other members of his family also could not find their names on the list.

The Commission on Elections has set up a voters’ assistance center to look into the complaints. (Germelina Lacorte/

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