A viral video of armed men carrying long firearms inside the polling precincts in Basilan has been doing the rounds online.
A group of armed men barged inside a polling precinct in Basilan on election day and one of them gave barking orders to the female polling officers in the local dialect.
Judging by the tone of his voice, it appeared the armed man was trying to intimidate the poll watchers to do something according to the wishes of his boss, a local politician running under the banner of the Liberal Party.
In the video, the armed man can be overheard saying the word, “VICE” several times, whether he was referring to the vice-mayor or the vice presidential candidate, that remains to be seen.
The surfacing of the video further strengthened the belief among netizens, particularly Marcos supporters, that that the election result is flawed.
The presence of armed men alone inside the polling precinct is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code according to Section 261 which stipulates that:
a. Threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion. – Any person who, directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates or actually causes, inflicts or produces any violence, injury, punishment, damage, loss or disadvantage upon any person or persons or that of the immediate members of his family, his honor or property, or uses any fraudulent device or scheme to compel or induce the registration or refraining from registration of any voter, or the participation in a campaign or refraining or desistance from any campaign, or the casting of any vote or omission to vote, or any promise of such registration, campaign, vote, or omission therefrom.
b. Coercion of election officials and employees. – Any person who, directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates, terrorizes or coerces any election official or employee in the performance of his electoral functions or duties.
The video has been viewed more than 600,000 times since it was posted on May 21, 2016 and shared more than 40,000 times by netizens.
What are your thoughts on this?