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GMA dropped from list of voters

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - For failing to vote even for herself in two succeeding elections, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was dropped from the list of registered voters by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Arroyo is thus asking the Sandiganbayan to allow her to register anew in her hometown of Lubao to allow her to run for a third term as representative of the second congressional district of Pampanga in 2016.

Through her lawyers, Arroyo said she is willing to shoulder the cost of having to go to Comelec’s Pampanga office including the need for police escorts.

Arroyo, facing plunder charges for alleged involvement in the misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds, is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City.

Defense lawyers said Arroyo has received notice that her name has been deactivated as a registered voter for failing to vote in her province in the past two elections though she ran and won landslide victories.

Her counsels said their client needs to undergo biometrics validation that includes having her photograph and fingerprints taken.

Ombudsman prosecutors acknowledged Arroyo’s right of suffrage but are however not in favor of bringing her to Lubao to register again as a voter of the province.

Government lawyers expressed concern over security needs and the physical safety of Arroyo aside from her frail physical condition.

The Sandiganbayan First Division heard oral arguments last Friday and is expected to resolve the issue soon including on the prosecution’s proposal that a Comelec officer be instead brought to the VMMC.

ARROYO COMELEC GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO LUBAO PAMPANGA PAMPANGA REP PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE QUEZON CITY SANDIGANBAYAN SANDIGANBAYAN FIRST DIVISION VETERANS MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
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