Earthquake and other calamities might cause failure of elections—Comelec

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 25, 2019   •   1596

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said failure of elections can be declared during an earthquake or other calamities.

Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said violence, terrorism, and cheating will also cause a failure of elections.

“Halimbawa walang balota, walang election obviously because elections cannot be held at all. Man-made problems, violence, people not showing up for instance or supplies not being delivered. Kapag hindi ka makapagsagawa ng halalan magkakaroon ka ng failure of elections (For example, there are no ballots. There will be no elections obviously, because elections cannot be held at all. Failure of elections will be declared),” he said.

Elections will also be suspended if the lives of voters will be put at risk.

“When there is a natural calamity such that the voting facilities or the polling places are damaged or are unsafe to use. Iyon magkakaroon ng failure of elections iyan (There will be failure of elections),” Jimenez adds.

However, Comelec clarified that failure of elections needs to undergo due process unless it is absolutely necessary to declare it.

Jimenez said that an election office will have to recommend it to Comelec and Comelec En banc will decide if they will declare a failure of elections.

“Hindi iyan automatic, hindi iyan madadaan sa buyo o madadaan sa ingay ng parties(That is not automatic. It cannot be declared just because a party demands it),” he said.

He also clarified that power outage is not a common reason to declare failure of elections because the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) that will be used have batteries.

There are also generator sets in polling areas in the country.

Comelec Field Officials are currently coordinating with power providers and power distributors to ensure there will be no power outage during elections.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Comelec suspends voter registration until March 31 due to COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   March 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suspended the voter registration until March 31 amid the rising number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country.

In a statement, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez announced that the suspension will begin on Tuesday, March 10.

“As a response to the growing threat to public health posed by COVID-19, voter registration has been suspended by the Comelec until the 31st of March 2020,” he said.

Jimenez said the suspension takes effect nationwide, encompassing voter registration conducted in all Comelec offices in districts, cities, and municipalities, as well as all satellite registration activities.

“The public is advised to take all necessary precautionary measures to limit their exposure to the possibility of COVID-19 infection,” he added.

The poll body opened the voter registration for the 2022 national elections last January. It was initially set to run until September 30, 2021.

As of posting time, the Philippines has 33 confirmed coronavirus cases.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a public health emergency amid the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in the country.

The DOH also raised Code Red Sublevel 1 after confirming the country’s first case of coronavirus local transmission.

9 dead in Turkey after earthquake hits Iran border area

UNTV News   •   February 24, 2020

BASKALE, TURKEY (FEBRUARY 23, 2020)DAMAGED HOMES

Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.

Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.

The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.

The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.

Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect

Magnitude 5.4 quake rattles Davao Occidental

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.

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