[Updated 10 May 2010, 11am, Philippine time]
AFTER so many months of uncertainty over the first ever automated national general elections, Filipinos get to test how successful the COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM’s preparations have been.
The first to vote in her hometown in Lubao was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She was accompanied by her son Congressman Mikey Arroyo who also cast his vote in the same precinct. It took the president six minutes to complete shading her ballot. She breathe a sigh of relief when her ballot was accepted by the PCOS machine. The president’s son’s ballot was also accepted by the machine.
Mrs Arroyo is running for Congresswoman in her district. She’s the first president to run for a lower position in the history of Philippine elections.
ABS-CBN host and actress Kris Aquino voted in San Antonio in Makati City. According to reports, it took Aquino three minutes to cast her ballot. Kris Aquino is the youngest sister of Senator Benigno Aquino III, standard-bearer of the Liberal Party.
Independent presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas cast his vote in precinct 445-A at University of Asia and the Pacific in Ortigas Center, Pasig City. He was with his son, Christopher Michael.
It took Perlas under 20 seconds to cast his ballot. “Wala akong masyadong binoto [I didn’t vote much],” he said. “Hopefully, it got recorded,” he added.
Bangon Pilipinas Presidential candidate Bro. Eddie Villanuieva voted in Bulacan while LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD presidential aspirant Gilbert Teodoro in Tarlac.
Administration vice presidential candidate Edu Manzano voted in his precinct in Iloilo. He is among the tailenders in the surveys conducted several days prior to the elections.
Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Liberal Party vice presidential candidate, was the first to vote in his precinct in Roxas City in Capiz. He was accompanied by his wife, broadcaster Korina Sanchez. Roxas cast his ballot in precinct 22-A. Also with Roxas was his mother Judy Araneta-Roxas and son Paolo.
NPC VP bet Senator Loren Legarda cast her vote in Malabon.
Mayor Jejomar Binay voted in his polling precinct at San Antonio High School in Makati City. He was joined by wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, and son, Makati mayoral candidate Jun-jun. Vice-presidential bet Binay is the running-mate of former president Joseph Estrada who is eyeing the position of President for the second time.
At 10am, only around 10% has been reported to have voted based on the records of Smartmatic-TIM from the 76,000 polling precincts.
Senator Noynoy Aquino held a brief press conference before proceeding to vote. He echoed some problems from text messages he received including delays in several polling precincts as well as unverified vote buying incidents. Aquino himself had to wait to cast his vote because of some delays he experienced in his precinct.
Senator Manny Villar along his wife Congresswoman Cynthia Villar voted at around 11.00am. On the other hand, Senator Noynoy Aquino who has been at the polling precinct for over three hours now has yet to vote.
The polling places opened at 7am and will accept voters until 6pm.[ Photo courtesy of Bert Recamunda ]