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SC to discuss 'No Bio, No Boto' in special session

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has decided to include the case of the "No Bio, No Boto" of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in its special session on December 16.

The high court earlier issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec policy which disallows voters without biometrics from voting in 2016.

The Comelec, however, asked the SC to reconsider its decision as it would affect the preparations for the 2016 elections.

Comelec Chair Andy Bautista warned that the 2016 elections might be postponed if the SC fails to lift the TRO against the policy.

The high court directed the Comelec to desist from deactivating more than 2 million voters without biometrics.

Bautista pointed out that restoring the names of the deactivated voters would take longer. The Comelec is targeting to release the final voters' list by December 2015.

The SC issued the TRO following the petition of the Kabataan Party-list, citing that the policy deprives registered voters without biometrics to participate in the upcoming elections.

"The biometrics validation gravely violates due process as it is an unreasonable deprivation of the constitutional right to vote for millions of Filipinos who have failed to register their biometric information despite existing and active registration – in effect a voter's re-registration – for various reasons whether personal or institutional," the petition said.

Bautisa defended the policy, arguing that it is provided under Republic Act 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act.

"Ang pakay ng batas ay linisin ang voters' list. This is part and parcel of the police power of the state," Bautista said in an earlier radio interview.

The high court will also discuss the  Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement of the Philippines with the United States of America during their special session.

RELATED: Miriam: EDCA void without Senate concurrence

BAUTISTA

COMELEC

COMELEC CHAIR ANDY BAUTISTA

ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

KABATAAN PARTY

MANDATORY BIOMETRICS REGISTRATION ACT

NO BIO

NO BOTO

QUOT

REPUBLIC ACT

SUPREME COURT

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