Election watchdog urges Comelec to expand coverage of local absentee voting

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2021   •   128

MANILA, Philippines — An election watchdog group has appealed to the Commission on Elections to expand the sectors that will be covered by local absentee voting.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) believes that expanding the coverage of the local absentee voting will help increase the voter turnout in the coming elections as this will guarantee a larger number of Filipinos being able to vote even before May 9, 2022.

“Palalawakin pa yong sectors na pwedeng bumoto including all our teachers na magsisilbi as our electoral boards. So pagpalagay natin during presidential election na ang voter turnout na aabot lang ng close to 70 percent ay umabot pa siya ng 80 percent,” said PPCRV trustee and secretary Dr. Arwin Serrano.

The local absentee voting is designed for those who are unable to go to the polling precincts on the actual day of the elections.

Among the sectors covered by the local absentee voting are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, media, government officials and employees.

Voting will only be limited to national positions, including partylist representatives.

Serrano said they have already submitted their proposal to the Comelec and hope that this will be discussed during the en banc’s session.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10695, the last day of application for the local absentee voting is on March 7, 2022.

The voting period for absentee voters is from April 27 to 29. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Comelec releases disclaimer notice on 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH

Maris Federez   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday (November 25) released a disclaimer notice on 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH that claimed to be affiliated with the poll body.

“Please note that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) are not in any way connected or affiliated with 1 VOTE PH, and that it is not an accredited citizens’ arm or civil society partner of the Comelec,” the poll body warned in a statement.

Comelec said 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH has been introducing itself as a non-profit/community organization on Facebook and in email blasts to various government agencies.

The poll body also said the group was claiming that it has a “nationwide campaign for educating the public regarding voter registration, voting, electoral reform and other issues concerning our rights to vote and about the general election.”

“The group also recently announced that they will be setting up its ‘Main Command Center’ with ‘Hotline Numbers and Toll-Free Numbers’ for local overseas Filipino voters,” Comelec added.

“Kindly disregard and/or treat with caution all communications from 1 VOTE PH purporting or claiming to be undertaken with the knowledge or consent of, or in partnership or cooperation with the Comelec,” the poll body advised the public.

In addition to 1 VOTE PH / ONE VOTE PH, the group also goes by the following names/aliases on Facebook:

  • One Vote PH Volunteers
  • Magpa Rehistro Ka
  • Keystrat Campaign Hub or Key Strategy Campaign Hub Co.
  • Keynote Leaders or “I Trust Keynote Leaders”
  • One Philippines or “I Trust One Philippines”
  • Poll Watchers PH
  • Bantay Boto PH or “I Trust Bantay Boto PH”
  • Election 2022 or “I Trust Election 2022”
  • Halalan 2022 or “I Trust Halalan 2022”
  • Vote Philippines 2022
  • Boto Pilipinas 2022
  • Philippine Business Club or Philippine Business Club Worldwide
  • Astig Kabataan Pinoy – Youth Voters

The Commission on Elections further advised overseas Filipinos to take extra precautions in their dealings with organizations claiming to be the agency’s partners.

The poll body further instructed the public to contact the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) through the following official communication channels, in case they are in doubt:

  • Facebook page: https://facebook.com/overseasvotingph
  • Email address: overseasvoting@comelec.gov.ph

 

COMELEC issues rules for online campaigning, rallies for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on Thursday the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the conduct of online campaigning and rallies as an alternative to physical sorties in line with the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.

The IRR, promulgated as COMELEC Resolution No. 10730, will govern the implementation of Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act for next year’s elections slated on May 9.

The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senator, and party-list groups will be on February 8 to May 7 while candidates for members of the House of Representatives, and local posts are allowed to campaign from March 25 to May 7.

The IRR states that the COMELEC shall provide a platform for free livestreaming of e-rallies of national candidates.

“E-rally airtime shall be allotted to each presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidate, as well as to each party-list organization participating in the 2022 national and local candidates,” resolution read.

“Live streaming of e-rallies shall be conducted every night, beginning February 8, 2022, on the official social media channels of the COMELEC,” it added.

At the start of the election period, the poll body said a schedule of e-rally time slots will be released.

“There shall be three presidential and three vice presidential 10-minute slots every night. In addition, there shall be 5 senatorial 3-minute slots; and 10 PL (party-list) 3-minute slots, per night,” it said.

The slots shall be assigned at random, based on the results of televised raffle of slots that will take place on January 8, 2022.

The e-rally livestreams shall be posted on the COMELEC’s official social media pages, the commission said.

For online campaigning, the poll body said Information contained in online campaign propaganda shall be truthful and not misleading, nor shall it tend to unjustifiably cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process.

The resolution defines the use of the internet to distribute campaign propaganda. This includes text-only posts on social media, pictures, audio clips, and video clips, regardless of duration, and all combinations of such formats.

A copy of the resolution containing the implementing rules and regulations may be viewed here.

Comelec grants Marcos request for extension in cancellation case

Maris Federez   •   November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday (November 18) granted the request of the camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. to extend the deadline of submission of his position on the petition filed against his candidacy.

In his Twitter post, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said he got word “that Comelec 2nd Division just now issued an extension in the cancellation case against former Senator Marcos.”

The Comelec 2nd Division gave the Marcos camp another five days to submit.

“But since the 5th day falls on a Sunday, last day is actually 22 Nov,” said Jimenez.

 

 

Several groups have filed their respective petitions against Marcos Jr., seeking to cancel his certificate of candidacy for the 2022 national and local elections. —/mbmf

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