Done with fact-finding, the National Bureau of Investigation is set to make public the result of its investigation on one all-important ballot box that mysteriously disappeared from the municipal treasurer's office in Siruma, Camarines Sur.
Prior to its disappearance, the ballot box containing 247 ballots from Butawanan Island was to be opened for recount of votes by COMELEC under the supervision of Atty. Noriel Badiola, the provincial election officer of Camarines Sur.
The recount if completed would have enabled the COMELEC to establish with finality the winner of the Siruma mayoralty race between former Mayor Nonito Vier and incumbent Mayor Sandy Ondis. In the May 2010 elections, Vier lost by less than a hundred votes and promptly demanded a recount.
NBI Regional Director Antonio Pagatpat reveals that at least 18 people, mostly municipal employees of Siruma, have undergone lie detector tests. Earlier this month, Atty. Noriel Badiola sought the help of the NBI when Municipal Treasurer Bienvenido Garcia failed to present the disputed ballot box that under the law should be in the custody and safekeeping of his office.
Still, Director Pagatpat expresses optimism that the mayoralty dispute in Siruma could be nearing resolution.