Feature: Tie for kagawad 7th slot solved by "orchestrated" drawing of lots
By Bong Pedalino
Barangay Tunga-Tunga, Maasin City (26 October) -- Proclamation of winners in the barangay elections here would have been done sooner if not for an incident that took much discussion, debate, and referrals to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for over two hours.
The bone of contention was a tie for the seventh place for barangay Kagawad. Both candidates Luis Magallanes and Exequel Nunez got exactly 414 votes each.
The Barangay Board of Canvassers (BBOC) had prepared two rolled papers, one with the word "winner", and the other empty, so that should have been settled.
But it was far from settled, since Nunez manifested to waive his part of the tie and give it to Magallanes should he win the the lot drawing, seemingly a patriotic solution, but this was not found in the rules and guidelines.
The ruling for such an incident stated that "... the one favored by luck shall be proclaimed the winner," without any further qualification as to a unilateral withdrawal or retraction, or surrender by an individual concerned.
So it has to be drawn by lot. But in such a case, if Nunez won, and he would give it Magallanes, will that be okay?
Not okay, said Comelec Officer Lawrence German Gelsano when they referred the matter to him, speaking by cellphone with re-elected Punong Barangay Rodrigo Panelo, who insisted Magallanes, Nunez, and himself were in the same group.
Still, Gelsano did not commit, opting instead to consult with Comelec Supervisor Atty. Antonio Gulay, and would relay the feedback any moment later.
The whole exercise was over before 9 in the evening, but the waiting for the proper procedure added two more hours of animated discussion.
Then one neophyte Kagawad-elect, Rizalina Arana, proposed a solution: Magallanes would be led to pick the "winner" in an "orchestrated" manner of drawing lots, apparently a formality to satisfy the rules, and fulfill as well Nunez' desire to hand the post to Magallanes.
The drawing done, the BBOC then called on the winning candidates for Punong Barangay and the seven Kagawads, and read their corresponding number of votes, and proclaimed them winners. For Village head, Panelo got 596 votes as against his opponent, Cristino Lao, 163.
For Kagawads: Josefina Rich, 469 votes; Rizalina Arana, 461; Nelson Supremo, 456; Hermano Lagusad, 443; Bernardo Pana, 437; Blenda Malbas, 430, and Luis Magallanes, 414.
There are 1,204 total registered voters for Tunga-Tunga, and 808 of them actually voted.
Members of the BBOC, who heaved a sigh of relief when it was through, included Marilit Sanchez, Brenda Ambi, and Josette Cabarse. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]