Senate asks Comelec to extend voter registration until October 31

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2021   •   235

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the voter registration period until October 31.

On Tuesday evening (September 14) during the hybrid plenary session, the Senate adopted Resolution No. 851 urging the Comelec to extend the deadline for voter registration from September 30, 2021 to October 31, 2021 “to prevent voter disenfranchisement brought about by the COVID-19.”

In a privilege speech, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who is also sponsor of the resolution, said the September 14 deadline was set before the pandemic.

“It is a pre-pandemic deadline. Nobody could have anticipated how this public health emergency would severely impact our daily lives, let alone voter registration,” he said.

Pangilinan presented video footage of Filipinos lining up in long queues when voter registration resumed in Metro Manila last September 6 after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was lifted in the National Capital Region+ and other cities which were placed under ECQ.

He also noted that registrations were cut-off earlier than the published hours.  The  senator cited the case of a youth volunteer who arrived at the Comelec office at 3:00 p.m. but was told that the cut-off was 2:30 p.m. even though the registration was supposed to be until 5:00 p.m. He was also told that only 300 registrants were accommodated.

Pangilinan also mentioned that unavailable slots and lack of time and money to go to the Comelec offices  are  often the reasons why some people could not register.

“While it is important for Comelec to be given enough time to prepare a final list of voters that is a prerequisite for the preparation and completion of its Project of Precincts or POP, we believe that a one-month extension will not delay Comelec’s preparation,” he stressed.

The senator also pointed out that in previous elections since 2001, voter registration deadlines were set on or beyond October 31. He said that voter registration can still be extended 120 days before a regular election and the Senate is only asking for registration to be extended until October.

“Based on this alone, Comelec has the prerogative to set the deadline of voter registration before January 9, 2022. But we are not asking that, we are only asking for a one-month extension. Only one month,” he said.

Other senators, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Imee Marcos supported Pangilinan’s call to extend the deadline for voter registration. AAC

 

 

Comelec faces backlash for denying application of 2 party-list groups

Maris Federez   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has earned the ire of two party-list groups as the poll body rejected their applications for accreditation for the 2022 national and local elections.

The groups, Nurses United and Guardians, trooped in front of the Comelec office in Manila to question the poll body’s decision to deny their application.

The Comelec, in its ruling, said the group’s representation of its membership is erroneous.

The Nurses United accused the commission of being cold-hearted to the condition of Filipino workers in the health sector.

“Pinatay po nila yong pag-asa ng mga nurses at mga manggagawang pangkalusugan. Pag-asa na magkaroon ng tunay na representante na manggagawang pangkalusugan sa loob ng kongeso. Sapagkat napakarami pong isyu na dapat matugunan sa usapin po ng ating manggagawang pangkalusugan,” said Maristela Abenojar, 1st nominee, NU Partylist.

The group’s motion for reconsideration was also denied by the poll body.

The group asked Comelec to provide them with a copy of the resolution of their denial.

Meanwhile, the group, Guardians, questioned Comelec for denying them the opportunity to make it to the list.

Based on the Comelec ruling, the group failed to prove that the majority of its membership are poor and are senior citizens.

The group pointed out that they have been assisting the government in disaster and relief operations, among others.

“Pinapakita lang namin na nandito kami. Kami yong sinasabi ninyong walang representation,” said Bong Contapay, Guardians Partylist 1st Nominee.

Since they failed in their appeal to the poll body, the group said they will be filing an appeal to the Supreme Court to have their application be reviewed and considered.

Meanwhile, based on Comelec Resolution No. 10735, to date, 152 registered party-list groups have made it to the list to be raffled a designated number come December 10.

On the other hand, 107 applications were denied; while 13 applications still await the final decision of the poll body.

The final list of party-list groups will be released 15 days after all the designation numbers are raffled off. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

CA confirms Bulay’s appointment to COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of lawyer Rey Bulay as a new Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner.

Bulay got unanimous votes from the 25-man panel after the CA committee on constitutional commissions and offices conducted a hearing to determine his experience and capability to hold a sensitive government post.

President Rodrigo Duterte nominated Bulay to COMELEC in November to replace former COMELEC Commissioner Luie Tito Guia who retired in February 2020.

Prior to his appointment, Bulay served as Manila chief city prosecutor and a commissioner at the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

He also served as councilor of Muntinlupa City in the early part of his career as a public servant.

Bulay’s tenure in COMELEC will end on February 2, 2027.

Aplikasyon para sa exemption sa election gun ban at security detail recall, simula na sa Dec. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Simula Miyerkules, Disyembre 1, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Philippine National Police (PNP) at Commission on Elections para sa exemption sa gun ban at security detail recall kaugnay ng 2022 elections.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Augustus Alba, tatagal hanggang Mayo 25 ang application period.

Batay sa Comelec Resolution 10728, ipinagbabawal ang pagdadala ng baril kapag nagsimula na ang election period sa Enero 9 hanggang Hunyo 8, 2022.

Kailangan ding i-recall ang lahat ng security detail na dineploy ng Police Security and Protection Group sa mga pulitiko, opisyal ng pamahalaan at pribadong indibiduwal.

 Tanging ang mga may pahintulot lamang ng Comelec ang bibigyan ng bantay.

Exempted sa recall ng security detail ang Presidente, Bise Presidente, Senate President, House Speaker, Supreme Court Chief Justice, AFP chief of staff at major service commanders, COMELEC chairman, mga kalihim ng Department of National Defense at ng Interior and Local Government, at senior officers ng PNP.

Ang mga ire- recall na security detail o protection security personnel ay isasalang naman sa VIP security and protection refresher course.

Sa lahat ng interesado ay maaaring mag-apply online sa official website ng COMELEC.

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