Comelec sees rise in vote buying incidents ahead of May polls

Marje Pelayo   •   May 3, 2019   •   1014

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is all set for the upcoming May 13 midterm polls.

However, the agency fears of a possible rise in cases of vote buying especially in the local level.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez noted that even days prior to the elections, they have been receiving reports of vote buying using cash, grocery items and many other valuables from candidates to lure voters.

As always, the poll body advises the public to be wise in choosing their candidates.

“COMELEC has always said do not take the money at all,” Director Jimenez said.

“We believe that you should just say no to the bribe to the vote buying attempt and just vote according to your conscience,” he added.

Comelec, however, admits that guarding against vote buying is a huge challenge that’s why the agency is encouraging the public to report any incident of violations of the election law.

Meanwhile, election officers are doubling their efforts to prepare all election paraphernalia before the midterm polls in May.

Generator sets are already stationed in polling places across the country to serve as back-up source of electricity in any event of power interruptions or outages during the election process.

The poll body is also continuously conducting voter education programs to prepare the voters. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Aiko Miguel)

Voter registration resumes Jan. 20, except in Taal-hit areas — Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday announced that the voter registration for the 2022 presidential elections will resume nationwide on Monday, January 20, except in some areas in Batangas and Cavite that were affected by the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said voter registration in municipalities and towns of Batangas located within the immediate danger zone and other areas surrounding the Taal Volcano will be suspended.

These places include:

  • Agoncillo
  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Laurel
  • Lemery
  • Mataas na Kahoy
  • San Nicolas
  • San Teresita
  • Taal
  • Talisay

Voter registration will also be suspended in the following localities outside Taal zone but still affected by ashfall, earthquakes, impassable roads and power interruptions:

  • Balayan, Batangas
  • Cuenca, Batangas
  • Lian, Batangas
  • Mabini, Batangas
  • Mabini, Batangas
  • San Luis, Batangas
  • Tuy, Batangas
  • Tagaytay, Cavite
  • Alfonso, Cavite
  • Amadeo, Cavite
  • Indang, Cavite
  • Silang, Cavite

Jimenez said the resumption of the voter registration in areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest will be “contingent on the ability of those places to recover and return to normalcy.”

Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which signifies an imminent hazardous explosion, despite decreasing emissions. The volcano belched ash and smoke last Sunday, January 12, which sent thousands of residents scrambling to safety.

Aside from these areas, Comelec said the resumption of voter registration will also be deferred in Makilala, North Cotabato which was hit by a strong earthquake last December 2019.

Registration is also postponed in 24 municipalities in Palawan province to give way to the May 11, 2020 plebiscite on the proposal to split the province into three areas.

As for the rest of the country, the poll body said the application and updating of records will be done at the Office of the Election Officer from Mondays to Saturdays including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before election day or on May 9, 2022; a resident of the Philippines for at least one year; and must have lived in the place where he or she intends to vote for at least six months on or before election day.

The registration period will run until September 30, 2021, except on the following dates:

  • April 9, 2020 (Maundy Thursday)
  • April 10, 2020 (Good Friday)
  • December 25, 2020 (Christmas Day)
  • April 1, 2021 (Maundy Thursday)
  • April 2, 2021 (Good Friday)

Comelec also said that registered voters as of May 13, 2019 midterm elections need not apply anew.

DFA calls on deactivated overseas voters to re-register for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   December 5, 2019

 (FILE) Filipino household workers who were repatriated from Kuwait show their documents as they arrive at Manila’s international airport, Philippines, 21 February 2018. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday called on overseas Filipino workers (OFW)to re-register in order to vote in the 2022 Presidential elections.

The DFA made the call following information from its overseas voting secretariat that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it deactivated a total of 578,185 overseas voters for failing to participate in the last national and local elections in 2016 and 2019.

The DFA said deactivated overseas voters may re-register when registration opens from December 16, 2019 to September 30, 2021 at the following areas:

  • Any Philippine Embassy, Consulate General, Mission, or Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO)

The DFA said that all Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad from April 9 to May 9, 2022 during the overseas voting period for the 2022 Presidential Elections, and are at least 18 years old on May 9, 2022 and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter at the said locations.

OFWs, as well as immigrants, seafarers and students who are about to leave for abroad and are not yet registered as overseas voters may also register on the said dates.

House OK on Barangay, SK polls deferment ‘no surprise,’ says Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   November 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it is not surprised by the move of the House of Representatives to approve the bill seeking to defer the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to December 5, 2022.

“This does not come as a surprise,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a message to reporters. “The COMELEC had, in fact, slowed down preparations for the Barangay Elections of 2020 in anticipation of this legislation.”

Jimenez said that with the impending approval of Congress on the measure, the poll body is now looking to focus on preparing for the next national and local elections.

“With the approval of the House and the looming decision of the Senate on the same matter, the COMELEC is looking forward to focusing on the process of re-starting the continuing registration and, in the longer term, preparing for the 2022 National and Local Elections,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Lower House gave its nod to a proposal seeking to reschedule the local polls to allow more time for incumbent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials to implement and complete their respective projects.

After the 2022 elections, subsequent barangay and SK elections will be held on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years thereafter.

The amended version of the House bill is similar to the one that Senate passed on September 30.

President Rodrigo Duterte, during his fourth State of the Nation Address in July, called on Congress to postpone the village elections.

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