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SC stops Comelec’s ‘No Bio, No Boto’ policy

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme  Court (SC) on Tuesday afternoon issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the “No Bio, No Boto” policy of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) requiring voters to register their biometrics before they are allowed to vote in the 2016 polls.

SC Spokesman Theodore Te said that in its en banc session, the SC resolved to issue a TRO “effective immediately and continuing until further orders from the Court.”

The TRO issued directed Comelec to “desist from deactivating registered voters without biometric information.”

The high court also asked Comelec and the Solicitor General to submit its comment within a non-extendable period of 10 days from notice.

SC issued the TRO following the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by youth groups led by Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon.

The group filed the petition last week, arguing that the implementation of the “No Bio, No Boto” policy violates the Constitution since it adds a substantive requirement for Filipinos to be able to exercise their right to suffrage.

They also challenged Comelec Resolutions 9721, 9863 and 1013 and the Republic Act 10367 otherwise known as an “Act Providing for  Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration” as they seek to nullify the policy that provides for deactivation of voters without digital photograph, signature and fingerprints in their registration records.

About 3 million registered voters without biometrics are at risk of not being able to vote in the 2016 general elections. - with reports from Edu Punay

ACIRC ACT PROVIDING COMELEC COMELEC AND THE SOLICITOR GENERAL COMELEC RESOLUTIONS EDU PUNAY MANDATORY BIOMETRICS VOTER REGISTRATION NO BIO NO BOTO REPUBLIC ACT SPOKESMAN THEODORE TE
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