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Nation

Comelec trims voters list in ARMM

John Unson - The Philippine Star

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has purged the new book of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, removing 280,077 underage and multiple registrants, the ARMM’s election director announced Monday.

Lawyer Ray Sumalipao, Comelec’s regional director for ARMM, said the delisting process was initiated through election registration board (ERB) hearings done from Nov. 26 to 30 to rid the region’s list of voters of underage and multiple registrants.

“The ERB found that there were 250,773 multiple registrants and 29,304 underage applicants that tried to have themselves listed in the 10-day general re-registration of voters in the region last July,” Sumalipao told reporters.

ARMM’s acting governor, Mujiv Hataman, welcomed the Comelec action,  according to his chief-of-staff, John Magno.

Hataman  has supported the conduct of the July 9-18 general re-listing of voters in the autonomous region.

“The ARMM leadership is keen on making the playing field in next year’s election practically level for all qualified voters, for all candidates and their supporters. The governor’s main concern now is to help the Comelec ensure peaceful 2013 elections in the autonomous region,” Magno said.

The general re-listing of voters in the autonomous region was part of the government’s effort to reform the area’s electoral system.

Cheating allegations, vote-rigging, vote buying and other forms of manipulations by warlords that employ private armies have always marred ARMM elections.

Sumalipao said  the purging of the list was made on the basis of the Comelec’s Automated Fingerprinting Identification System (AFIS).

More than a million residents in the ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and cities of Lamitan and Marawi, have registered in july.

Sumalipao said they will post on January 13, 2013 the list of voters for each town in the autonomous region at the municipal halls to ensure transparency and accessibility.

AUTOMATED FINGERPRINTING IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM AUTONOMOUS REGION COMELEC JOHN MAGNO LAMITAN AND MARAWI LAWYER RAY SUMALIPAO MAGUINDANAO AND LANAO MUJIV HATAMAN MUSLIM MINDANAO SUMALIPAO
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