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People's initiative vote held in Quezon City

by Michael B. Mundo (Chairperson, NAMFREL Quezon City)

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.10

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A pioneering political exercise was held on May 14, 2011 at the Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School in Project 4 Quezon City last Saturday, May 14, 2011. This is a precedent-setting process of ratifying a village regulation petitioned under the system of people's initiative.

It took 465 affirmative votes as against 384 negative votes to enact a barangay ordinance on illegal settlers, mendicants, abusive barangay officials, and drug trafficking at Barangay Milagrosa, District 3, Quezon City. One voter abstained. There was a marked ballot. There were at least two stray ballots. Voter turnout, however, was disappointingly low at 23.4% or 856 votes cast out of 3,665 registered voters in 12 clustered precincts.
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The Initiative Board of Canvassers led by Quezon City District 3 Election Officer Evelyn B. Bautista as chair and Quezon City Prosecutor Donald D. Lee as vice-chair with Darna C. Dimaya as member started the official canvass of the results from 12 clustered precincts at 5 p.m. at the Reading Station at the ground floor of the school's main building. Present were initiative proponents; volunteers from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) under the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal parish; representatives from the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE); and the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) Quezon City chapter.  None of the the initiative opponents came to witness the process, but a barangay kagawad briefly entered the canvassing room. Deputized members of the Philippine National Police were also posted outside the canvassing room for security purposes.

At the close of the voting at 3 p.m., votes were only recorded by the Initiative Committee from the returns as watchers monitored the reading out of the votes. No tally sheets were posted on the blackboard for simultaneous recording of votes as provided for under Comelec's rules. For the benefit of the public, however, some teachers wrote the results in their polling place on the blackboard.

The Commission on Elections promulgated the rules and regulations that would govern the conduct of the initiative on April 20, 2011
(Comelec Resolution No. 9205 - http://bit.ly/iBXkaW)
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