Comelec prepares contingency plan in case of earthquake during elections
Aileen Cerrudo • May 7, 2019 • 1231
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has laid out a contingency plan in case of an earthquake or any emergency during the election day on May 13.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is tasked to make sure that no voters will be left inside the polling precinct in case of an earthquake; while the Board of Election Inspectors are tasked to secure the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and ballots inside it.
“Ultimately the most important consideration here is the safety of the voting public. And we want to make sure that if there are voting precincts operating in those areas, that they should be safe and that they have not been damaged either by the primary quake or the aftershocks,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said.
He added, “If the VCMs cannot be taken out or the VCMs cannot be protected, then the school is locked down.”
The police is also under the instruction to secure the polling place.
For emergency cases like earthquakes and other calamities, Comelec will have to declare a failure of elections. However, this will depend on the severity of its effect in the country.
Meanwhile, Comelec has warned the public not to easily believe posts online such as the viral video that showed pre-shaded ballots.
Jimenez clarified that these ballots are fake, and he refuted the claim of the video uploader that the VCM will read votes detected by UV light.
“Iyong idea na mababasa ng makina iyong UV mark doon sa bilog sa tabi ng pangalan is wrong. Iyong ating scanner ay nagbabasa ng visible marks. Kailangan niyang makita iyong marka. Ang UV mark ay invisible. The fact that some names were supposedly had pre- shaded, pre- shading. Obviously political agenda ang nasa ilalim nito, (The idea that the machine will read UV marks in the circle is wrong. Our scanner reads visible marks. It needs to see the mark. UV marks are invisible. Obviously there is a political agenda under it),” he said.—(with reports from Aiko Miguel)
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday (Sept. 16) asked, during the Senate budget hearing, for a P9.8-Billion budget for 2020.
The poll body said this will cover the P5.77-Billion budget for the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE), which they have been preparing for despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s previous statement that he wants it postponed.
Comelec said Congress has to enact a law for the postponement of the BSKE.
“Ang pakiusap namin, your honor, is sana mapabilis iyong pagpasa ng batas otherwise we have no choice but to incur some expenses preparatory expenses especially so na tali po kami ng procurement law,” said Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas.
Comelec added that should the BSKE be postponed, they request for it not to be held close to the 2022 elections.
“If postponement happens it would be preferable if it would be one year before or one year after the May 2022 (elections). So, it could be either May 2021 or May 2023,” said Commissioner Antonio Kho, Jr.
The Senate budget hearing also focused on the low voter turn-out of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the last election.
Of the five million OFWs who are qualified to vote, only 1.8 million were registered and only 18% of which actually voted.
Comelec pointed out the inadequate information dissemination for voters and the distance of the voting centers in some countries as reasons for the low voter turn-out. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 10) granted the petition of Camarines Norte gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Tallado who questioned his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the last May 19 elections.
Tallado was allowed to run after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) following Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from the race.
The SC decision, penned by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, stated that the Court En Banc overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.
The SC Public Information Office will issue a copy of the decision through its website once they receive the official copy from the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc.
Concurring with Bersamin were Justices Diosdado Peralta, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes Jr., Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henry Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.
Dissenting were Justice Francis Jardeleza, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, and Rosmari Carandang.
Comelec had disqualified Tallado to run due to what the poll body says as questionable years of service as governor of Camarines Norte, pointing out that should they grant Tallado’s certificate of candidacy, it would have already been his 4th term as governor.
The law provides that gubernatorial post is only limited to three consecutive terms.
However, Tallado took his case to the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Comelec, insisting that he is still eligible to run for the May 2019 polls as he was suspended from office in 2015 and was reinstated only in 2018.
Tallado won as the governor of Camarines Norte after garnering 149,002 votes against his rival Cathy Barcelona-Reyes who had 104,635 votes.
Comelec has yet to comment on the matter as it yet to receive a copy of the SC decision. — Marje Pelayo
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the poll protest of former Pasig Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio against incumbent mayor Vico Sotto.
Based on the decision of Comelec 2nd Division promulgated last August 30, the said protest is “insufficient in form and substance.”
“Protestant failed to provide a detailed specification of the acts or omissions complained of showing the electoral frauds, anomalies or irregularities in the protested precincts as required by Section 7(g) Rule 6 of Comelec Resolution no. 8804,” the decision states.
The Comelec 2nd Division said Eusebio’s party was not able to provide enough evidence that there was an anomaly during the Pasig City mayoral race last May.
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