Election day at the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.3, No.1
by Perre Ian Dela Cruz, Chairperson, NAMFREL-Zamboanga City

Right after I voted at West Central Elementary School, I immediately went to the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center to observe the process of election given to the registered detainees. The Local Comelec Office, District 1, Zamboanga City made a special arrangement with the BJMP-Zamboanga City in order
for the registered detainees to shade their ballots inside the chapel of the said compound.

The election process started at 8:00 AM and ended at 11:00 AM. It was 11:15 AM when the team of Comelec-deputized BEI and BJMP Special BEI brought those said ballots to the West Central Elementary School because those detainees are registered voters of Barangay Zone I, with the Precinct Number 003A. The Local Comelec had registered 199 detainees, both male and female, and all of them participated in the election. Some of the detainees were assisted by the BJMP Special Election Team because they cannot read and write. There were pollwatchers from Adelante Zamboanga Movement and from LDP. The presence of local media ABS-CBN was also noted.

According to BJMP Wardress Inspector Fe Galvez, the election held inside the jail is memorable because it was the first time that the registered detainees were allowed to vote inside the jail.