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Comelec warns politicians vs multiple voter registrants

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday cautioned politicians engaged in “hakot” system, or bringing multiple voter registrants to registration centers, saying they could be detected by the system.

In his Twitter account, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said it was observed that many people were attempting to register as first time voters for the May 9, 2016 elections when they look much older than 20 years.

But Jimenez said the Automated Fingerprint Identification System can identify voters with double or multiple registrations.

Biometrics pertain to digital photographs, signatures and fingerprints.

The voter’s registration has been going on since May 2014 but many voters are now in a mad rush to local Comelec offices and satellite registration centers, to beat the deadline on Oct. 31.

The Comelec created an augmentation team to determine which registration venues need additional voter’s registration machines and personnel.

Around 52 million voters have registered for the coming polls.

‘Extend deadline’

A group led by a party-list lawmaker yesterday sought relief from the Supreme Court (SC) to extend the deadline for registration of voters for next year’s general elections.

In a 24-page urgent petition, Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon and his group asked the high court to issue a mandatory injunction ordering the Comelec to extend the period of registration to Jan. 8 next year or by more than two months.

Joined by Anakbayan Vencer Crisostomo and National Union of Students of the Philippines president Sarah Jane Elago, national president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, Ridon also asked the high court to void resolutions of the Comelec setting the deadline.

Petitioners cited aggravating circumstances to justify the extension of registration period, which has lasted for a year and a half.

For instance, they cited the latest admission of the poll body that some three million voters stand to be delisted as they still have no biometrics data a few days before the deadline.

“An aggravating factor in this issue is the respondent’s implementation of the ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy, which automatically delists registered voters who fail to have their biometrics data captured, pursuant to Republic Act No. 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration Act,” the petitioners added.

“With the very high volume of first-time registrants and voters in the May 9, 2016 elections, the Oct. 31, 2015 deadline set by respondent for the filing of application of registration of voters is utterly insufficient to accommodate first-time youth registrants, voters without biometrics, and voters highly eager to participate in the May 9, 2016 elections,” they argued.

Another reason cited by petitioners was the suspension of registration for voters last Oct. 12 to 16 to give way to the scheduled filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) of national and local candidates,” the petitioners said. – With Edu Punay, Robertzon Ramirez, Roel Pareño

 

ACIRC ANAKBAYAN VENCER CRISOSTOMO AND NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES AUTOMATED FINGERPRINT IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM BUT JIMENEZ COMELEC JAMES JIMENEZ MANDATORY BIOMETRICS VOTER REGISTRATION ACT NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES NO BIO REGISTRATION VOTERS
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