Military troops and their families live on Pagasa, the biggest island in the Kalayaan Group. The island has an airstrip used by the military for bringing in supplies for the community. (Photo courtes of the Philippine Air Force)
Even Filipinos in the remotest town in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) were able to cast their votes for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Monday.
Pagasa Island (Thitu) in the Spratly Islands, Batanes, and Turtle Islands in Palawan were opened for voting on Monday with the help of Commission on Elections and security forces, Gen. Carlito Galvez, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
Three were vying for the position of barangay kagawad, while one was running as SK chairman in the hotly contested waterway.
Pagasa is the only outpost of the Philippines in the Spratlys occupied by civilians. About a hundred residents and a small batch of troops stay in the island.
Galvez said they deployed about 30,000 soldiers nationwide to assist the Comelec and police for the elections.
“All the 174,000 precincts were all opened for the first time, 100 percent at 11:30 a.m.,” he said.
He noted that a Lanao del Norte precinct was late in opening for voting.