Cagayan Valley Regional police confirmed that armed men burned two vote counting machines (VCMs) on Tuesday, May 14, in Brgy. Sta Isabel, Jones, Isabela.
Per reports, two armed men stopped the dump truck carrying the VCMs, which were supposed to be brought to the municipal hall, and incinerated the machinces
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said that they will investigate why no security escort accompanied the teachers bringing the VCMs
PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde said that they clearly agreed that no VCM will leave the precinct and be delivered to the municipal hall without a police or military escort.
Albayalde said that the municipality of Jones has been classified as category red.
He also mentioned that members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the Philippine Marines provide security in the area due to the threat of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“What we are trying to investigate here is bakit pinayagan yung mga EB (electoral board) natin na bumiyahe on their own. Remember that area is a critical area,” Albayalde said during a press briefing.
“We are trying to see kung bakit nag-pilit itong teachers na bumaba on their own. Where in fact yung usapan namin, kapag umalis yung mga teacher, mga EB from the polling centers going kung saan dapat dadalhin yung ballot boxes, they should be escorted,” Albayalde added.
Meanwhile, authorities assured voters that the ballots inside the burned VCMs have been counted.
“Iyon ay nabilang na. Meron na silang data doon. So hindi nakakaapekto doon sa pag-bilang ng boto yung pag-sunog sa VCMs, sa mga makina,” Albayalde explained.