2016 Elections: More "Fun" in Lanao del Sur

I have always known that here in Lanao del Sur, we do elections differently. Any journalist will have a field day covering because of the stories that are uniquely Meranao. Let me list down the things that make our elections so much more "fun" if not the most "fun" in the Philippines. 

1. To win, you have to buy votes. If the other mayoralty candidate gave one thousand, give three thousand. If he adds two thousand more to level with you, make it five thousand. Nobody wins in Lanao del Sur, except the national candidates, without shelling out "campaign fund". Vote buying is becoming a norm in the whole country but what makes LDS peculiar is the relatively high amount given here. In fact, non-LDS residents are "imported" to vote here. Those flying voters prefer to vote in Lanao del Sur because they get more money. 

2. Duterte won in Lanao del Sur by a landslide. When I was checking ERs from Marawi City, all of the precincts I saw gave DU30 at least 95% of the votes. Despite the party affiliations of the strong candidates, nobody really cared whether their candidates--Jejomar Binay and Sec. Mar Roxas--get votes. 

3. In most precincts, there's always the customary gunshots. Hala sige, paputok tayo para matakot ang mga tao at magsiuwian na lang. 

4. Lahat na lang "watcher". Below is a photo of one of the stalls in Banggolo that sell ID holders. Apparently, there is a high demand for such an item.

5. PNP and AFP should always be present near the precincts in case of item 3. 

6. On the day of election, when campaigning is prohibited, watchers do not just campaign, some shade the ballots for you, hindi ka naman illiterate or senior citizen but they will help you throughout the process. Bubulung-bulong pa. 

7. Prior to the elections, the candidates supporters will post their campaign posters where it's prohibited, for maximum exposure, like in schools where people will vote.

8. Some voters do not shade just one ballot. Some do a thousand ballots. Yes, I am talking about you but I won't reveal your identity, of course.

9. Fistfights. While I stayed in the  elections monitoring center in Campo Ranao, the most usual report from monitors on the field is "nagpalitan sila ng suntok dito." I myself witnessed a few from voting to canvassing.

10. Schools burned down. The night before elections, school buildings in Tamparan and Poona Bayabao were burned. Last night I received reports that school buildings in Bayang were burned by the supporters of the losing candidate. What did the students do to you for you to burn their schools?

11. And the canvassing is a whole different circus of ninja moves and turtle moves, because you know, in the middle of the frenzy, may mga gawaing mabilisan at pang-delay.