Comelec extends voter registration until October 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 29, 2021   •   303

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday (September 29) announced that it will extend voter registration until October 30.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the extension was “unanimously” approved by the poll body’s en banc.

The voter registration extension, Jimenez said, will be from October 11 to 30, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There will be no registration on Saturdays except for the last day on October 30. All registration services will be offered for the duration of the extension.

Registration of overseas voters has been extended for two weeks  from October 1 to 14, the Comelec official added.

“Note that for overseas voting, the filing of COCs (certificate of candidacy) is not an issue, thus the extension starts immediately,” Jimenez said.

The Comelec decision came two days after the House of Representatives and the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to compel the poll body to extend by one month the voter registration period.

In a statement, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco welcomed Comelec’s decision to extend registration.

“We thank the Comelec for seeing the wisdom of extending the voter registration to allow more Filipinos to exercise their right of suffrage, which is one of the most important rights and responsibilities we have as citizens of the Philippines,” Velasco said.

Velasco maintained that extending the voter registration would prevent “massive voter disenfranchisement” given the “extraordinary circumstances” brought about by the pandemic. AAC

COMELEC to provide free online campaign airtime for 2022 national bets

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said it has launched an official platform that will provide free live streaming of e-rallies of national candidates for the 2022 national and local elections.

In a news release, the COMELEC said the platform, called Campaign S.A.F.E COMELEC e-Rally Channel, will provide e-rally airtime to all bona fide candidates for President, Vice President, Senator, and party-list organizations.

Each candidate for president and vice president will be granted 10-minute airtime for each of three slots in a night, while Senate candidates will be given three minutes for every five slots a night.

Party-list groups will be provided with three minutes each for five slots per night while political parties will have 10 minutes each for three slots.

The poll body said the platform will begin the live streaming by February 8, 2022, when the campaign period for national candidates starts.

“The COMELEC is set to release a schedule of e-rally timeslots for each elective position. Beginning February 8, 2022, live streaming of e-rallies will be conducted every night on the official social media channels of the COMELEC,” it said.

“Every night, there shall be three presidential and three vice-presidential 10-minute slots, and 10 party-list 3-minute slots,” it added.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said the commission will issue the pertinent guidelines on how the candidates and party-list organizations can participate in the e-rally channel.

“This platform can help ensure that even those candidates who have less in followers can still have more in views and exposure, so to speak,” he added.

COMELEC eyes release of final list of 2022 poll bets on January 15

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is eyeing to release the final list of candidates for the May 2022 national and local elections by Saturday, January 15.

COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said they are also hoping to start the printing of official ballots by January 17.

Based on the poll body’s latest tentative list of candidates, there are 10 presidential aspirants for the upcoming elections.

The list includes former Palace Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Labor Leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Faisal Mangondato, Jose Montemayor, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Meanwhile, nine aspirants remain in the vice presidential race, while 64 are vying for a senate seat.

COMELEC exec denies data breach report

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – An official from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Wednesday labeled as fake news a newspaper report claiming that the poll body’s servers were hacked and its sensitive data were compromised.

In a tweet, COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon denied the report published by Manila Bulletin that hackers allegedly broke into COMELEC servers and downloaded 60 gigabytes worth of data.

“Fake news: @COMELEC server was hacked, not true. Manila Bulletin editor must verify,” she said.

The Manila Bulletin on Monday reported that its TechNews team has information about the supposed hacking that took place over the weekend. An estimated 60 gigabytes of data, which possibly contained personal information and sensitive personal information, were allegedly accessed and downloaded by a certain group of hackers.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez earlier questioned the veracity of the report and invited the authors to shed light on their allegations, particularly on the verification process they supposedly carried out to confirm the alleged incident.

The National Privacy Commission has ordered COMELEC, Manila Bulletin, and Mr. Art Samaniego to appear for a clarificatory meeting via teleconference on January 25 on the alleged hacking and data breach incident.

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