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Cebu News

Comelec hit for entertaining possibility of election postponement

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Kabataan Partylist Representative Terry Ridon slammed the Commission on Elections for posing the possibility that the 2016 elections might be postponed in light of the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against the poll body’s “No Bio, No Boto” policy.

Ridon, in a statement, said that the national election is mandated under the Constitution.

“It is not an exercise conducted for the convenience of COMELEC. Holding the national elections requires a lot of forward thinking and planning, something that is apparently missing right now,” Ridon said.

COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista was earlier quotes saying that the May 9, 2016 elections may be postponed if the High Court does not lift the TRO on the “No Bio, No Boto” policy, explaining that the TRO will affect COMELEC’s preparations for the upcoming national elections.

Ridon, lead petitioner in the SC case on the “No Bio, No Boto”, said that the case only wants to defend the right to suffrage of over three million voters bound to illegally lose their voting rights just because of an additional substantive requirement imposed by COMELEC.

Instead of threatening to postpone the elections just to force the SC to lift the TRO, Ridon said COMELEC should focus on the much-needed adjustments to allow people covered by the TRO to vote.

Earlier, poll body officials explained that if voters without biometrics are allowed to vote, instances of “flying voters” will become rampant, as COMELEC will not be able to validate their voter status.

 “The right to suffrage is a fundamental right. Why threaten to postpone the elections just because the Supreme Court granted a well-meaning petition that will benefit about three million voters?” he said.

Ridon added that COMELEC should have instituted a way to cleanse the voter records of so-called flying voters without infringing upon the rights of active voters to continue exercising their right to vote.

Ridon also raised the possibility that COMELEC is using the “No Bio, No Boto” TRO as an excuse to execute a “Plan B” for the ruling Liberal Party.

 “Raising a ‘No-El’ scenario may indeed be part of LP’s game plan. With their presidential candidate lagging in the election surveys, LP stalwarts may be instigating a plan to postpone the elections and inadvertently extend President Benigno Aquino III’s term,” Ridon said.

He said that only LP will benefit if ever the 2016 national elections is postponed.

The lawmaker pointed out that COMELEC’s “lackadaisical” preparations for the 2016 elections is also a suspect.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA COMELEC ELECTIONS HIGH COURT KABATAAN PARTYLIST REPRESENTATIVE TERRY RIDON LIBERAL PARTY NO BIO NO BOTO RIDON SUPREME COURT
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