Comelec looks into longer voting hours for 2022 election

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021   •   274

Manila, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday (January 20) said it is looking into having longer voting hours for the 2022 elections.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, during a Senate hearing, said the agency is mulling over possible election adjustments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the options include extending the election up to three days while the other option is to have longer voting hours.

Jimenez raised concerns over the having the election last for two to three days.

“Medyo wary kami sa two to three days of election (We are a bit wary of extending the election for two to three days ). Comelec is actually tending towards longer elections hours. Nakikita po natin sa ibang bansa, especially iyong malalaking elections (We saw in other countries, especially those with big elections), they do have elections that last for up to 12 hours,” he said.

“As far as the two to three days of elections, there’s been a lot of concern about that, there’s a lot of worry of what happens at night, I suppose,” he added.

Comelec is also planning to increase polling places to limit the number of voters per precinct and lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, Comelec said they would need bigger venues and additional personnel to ensure health protocols are followed.

Early voting for the vulnerable sectors, which include senior citizens, is also being looked into by Comelec.

Jimenez added they are also looking into bringing ballots to quarantine centers for individuals exhibiting symptoms or are positive for COVID-19 virus.

“There will be more people who will be in quarantine, who will be allowed to vote otherwise. Kaso hindi naman natin sila pwedeng tanggalan ng right to vote just because may sakit sila, (We cannot deprive them of their right to vote just because they are sick),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) said there should also be a risk assessment especially for voters who are returning to their respective provinces.

“The requirements of the face masks, face shields can be property requirements that could disenfranchise some vulnerable groups of voters, even the test that are required before you enter into the provinces where you should be voting,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

‘Run Sara Run’ banners not considered electoral offense, Comelec says

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Banners and other paraphernalia urging presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run in the 2022 national elections are not considered an electoral offense, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez explained that it is not a violation of election laws because it is not election period, and Mayor Sara herself is not a candidate yet.

“Kahit nakapag-file na ng COC (certificate of candidacy) ang tao, kung hindi pa naman nagsisimula ang campaign period, hindi pa siya itinuturing na official candidate. At dahil hindi pa siya official candidate, kahit anong gawin niya, hindi pa siya pwedeng tratuhin bilang kandidato. Ibig sabihin, hindi pa siya pwedeng mag-commit ng election offense,” Jimenez said.

The poll body official said that the banners sprouting in different areas can only be considered as part of freedom of expression.

The campaign period for May 9, 2022 elections will start from February 8 to May 7, 2022.

Sara Duterte earlier thanked her supporters behind the campaign but she reiterated that she has no plans of joining the 2022 presidential polls.

She also urged her supporters to remove the tarpaulins they mounted without permits and to stop staging motorcades and other activities that may violate the health and safety protocols against COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Duterte says daughter Sara is not running for president in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his position that he will not support the idea of his eldest daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, joining the presidential race in the 2022 elections despite the much urgings of their supporters.

Duterte made the remark during a situational briefing for the government response to the onslaught of storm ‘Auring’ in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday.

“Inday Sara is not running. I have really put my foot down. Naaawa ako sa anak ko,” he said.

“Ang pulitika dito sa atin, kababuyan,” he added.

The chief executive issued the statement after Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel urged him to convince either Mayor Sara or his former aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to be his successor and continue his administration’s achievements when his term ends in 2022.

This came after Sara Duterte emerged as the top presidential and vice presidential preference for 2022 elections in a survey recently conducted by OCTA Research Team.

The poll showed that the president’s daughter came on top after 22% of the respondents picked her to be country’s next president.

Following Duterte is Sen. Grace Poe with 13%, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos with 12% each, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 11%.

In the vice presidential race, Duterte also emerged on top after getting 14% of the survey votes. Moreno and Pacquiao got 11% each while Poe scored 10%.

Sara Duterte earlier thanked her supporters for their trust and confidence but reiterated that she is not interested in seeking the country’s highest post.

She also advised her supporters to stop mounting tarpaulins and billboards, as well as staging motorcades and other activities for her supposed 2022 candidacy.

Meanwhile, the president also warned the public against former Senator Antonio Trillanes III, one of his administration’s staunch critics.

“Be careful of trillanes, magbantay kayo. He will sell you to the devil. ‘Pag yan ang nakaupo. Patay, walang hiya yan. Sa totoo lang,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Sara Duterte tops OCTA survey on 2022 presidential, vice presidential preference

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte emerged as the top preference for both President and Vice President in the 2022 elections based on an independent survey conducted by OCTA Research released on Monday.

In the poll, which was conducted from January 26 to February 1, OCTA Research said the president’s daughter came on top after 22% of the respondents picked her to be the country’s next president.

OCTA’s Tugon ng Masa National Survey was conducted with 1,200 respondents across the country using face-to-face invterviews.

Following Duterte is Sen. Grace Poe with 13%, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos with 12% each, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 11%.

Vice President Leni Robredo lagged behind as she got 5% in the survey.

In the vice-presidential race, Duterte also emerged on top after getting 14% of the survey votes. Moreno and Pacquiao got 11% each, while Poe scored 10%.

OCTA Research team said the results of the survey are expected to change when the official list of candidates for 2022 polls has been released by the Commission on Elections.

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