Comelec urges voters: Say ‘no’ to bribe, vote-buying attempt

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2019   •   2006

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday urged Filipino voters to say ‘no’ to bribe or any vote-buying attempt this May midterm election.

Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said that buying and selling votes are election offenses that have corresponding penalties under the law.

“It’s an election offense. You can be jailed. You can be fined and you can be disqualified from holding public office. Both ‘yan, the buyer and the seller,” Jimenez said in a press briefing.

Jimenez issued the warning following Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde’s advice to voters to accept the money offered by politicians but still vote for the right candidates aspiring for public office.

“Kung hindi po mabantayan ng pulisya ang vote-buying, tanggapin na lang siguro natin ng tanggapin yung pera, pero iboto pa rin natin ang nararapat,” Albayalde told reporters on Tuesday when asked about their measures to prevent vote-buying this election.  

“I think the best thing here is voters’ education, malaman ng mga tao kung sino ang dapat iboto hindi yung kung sino ang nagbigay ng mas malaking pera sa kanila yun ang iboboto nila,” he added, admitting that vote-buying is one of the hardest challenges that law enforcers will have to deal with this election.

Although the PNP has already clarified Albayalde’s remark as a statement made “in jest,” Jimenez still stressed that voters should shun bribes and vote according to their conscience.

“Comelec has always said do not take the money at all. You start to believe that under certain conditions okay lang to do the wrong thing and that’s not something that we want to encourage among voters,” he said.

“With all due respect to everyone saying differently, 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.

“Huwag ka ng humingi ng tulong kapag nanalo na ang kandidato kasi bayad ka na and that is the sad and very rude awakening that is in store for everyone who sells their votes. When you sell your vote now for P500, for P5,000 even P10,000 to P15,000, remember that is all you got to get for the next years,” Jimenez warned.

Although vote-buying and selling are rampant, Comelec admits difficulty in monitoring violators.

The poll body also called on the public anew to report to their office any case of vote buying, election-related wrongdoings, and other problems observed among communities. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Aiko Miguel)

Voter registration in Taal eruption-affected areas to resume on Feb. 3 – Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The voter registration in Batangas and Cavite areas affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano will resume on Monday, February 3, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday.

In a statement, Comelec said the voter registration for the 2022 elections will resume in the following places in Batangas province due to a return to normal working conditions:

  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Laurel
  • Lemery
  • San Nicolas
  • Sta. Teresita
  • Taal
  • Talisay
  • Cuenca
  • Lipa City
  • Tanauan City
  • Balayan
  • Calaca
  • Kalatagan
  • Tuy
  • San Luis
  • Mabini
  • Lian
  • Malvar

In Cavite, the poll body said that registration of voters will also resume in Alfonso, Indang, Silang, Tagaytay City, and Amadeo.

Meanwhile, the voter registration in the municipality of Mataas na Kahoy in Batangas will resume on February 10, according to Comelec.

The poll body earlier announced the suspension of the registration in areas within and beyond the 14-kilometer danger zone of Taal Volcano during its eruption.

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.

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