Voter registration in NCR Plus, other MECQ areas remain suspended — Comelec

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021   •   617

MANILA, Philippines — The voter registration and voter’s certification remain suspended in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus and other areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced.

In an advisory on Sunday, Comelec said the voter registration and the issuance of voter’s certification in the NCR Plus remain suspended from May 1 to 14.

The National Capital Region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – collectively called NCR Plus – are under extended MECQ until May 14.

The areas of Santiago City in Isabela, Abra, and Quirino were placed under MECQ until May 31.

Comelec said voter registration and the issuance of voter’s certification will also be suspended in the same period.

“For the duration of the MECQ in NCR Plus and other areas, the Comelec Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in Intramuros, Manila will be attending exclusively to voter registration applicants with urgent travel needs,” the poll body said.

The poll body further said that voter registration and issuance of voter’s certification in the rest of the country under general community quarantine or modified GCQ will be open from Mondays to Thursdays.

COMELEC said OFOV may be reached via its official social media account, email address, and contact numbers +639050341558 or +639518759882.

Guanzon discloses voting for DQ of Marcos Jr.

Maris Federez   •   January 28, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (COMELEC) first division presiding officer Commissioner Rowena Guanzon has disclosed that she voted to disqualify former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in his bid for the presidency in the coming 2022 national elections.

Guanzon, in several interviews, said she voted for Marcos’ disqualification citing moral turpitude under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Guanzon made the disclosure although Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, the ponente, has yet to release the resolution of the consolidated disqualification case before the first division.

Guanzon also questioned why Ferolino has not yet released the resolution.

Meanwhile, Ferolino, in text message to UNTV News and Rescue, said she reserving her reaction to Guanzon’s move.

“Hi, Dante. I’m afraid I cannot give a reaction. I do not want to violate the sub judice rule. I want to maintain my dignified silence,” she said.

On the other hand, Marcos’s spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez said they are waiting for the decision to be released first to avoid speculations.

“We will wait for the decision to come out and until then any statement made are all speculative,” he said.

Guanzon earlier said they were to promulgate the resolution on January 17.

The lady commissioner, who is set to retire on February 2, promised to leave her docket with zero backlog. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

COMELEC warns public vs fake social media accounts of commissioners

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Thursday warned the public against social media users posing as officials of the poll body.

In a statement, the COMELEC advised the public to reject and immediately report for community standards violations any Facebook friend request purporting to be coming from a COMELEC commissioner or other key officials of the poll body

The commission likewise urged the public to report Twitter profiles impersonating COMELEC key officials for violation of the platform’s impersonation policy.

“These blatant attempts to steal the online identity of COMELEC officials are potentially part of a broader attempt to undermine the integrity of the elections,” COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the poll body is closely coordinating with social media platforms to take down these fake profiles and accounts.

He also said that COMELEC is ready to take legal action against the perpetrators.

NPC summons COMELEC, third-party provider over alleged data breach

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Thursday said it has summoned the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and its third-party provider to discuss the alleged hacking and data breach involving the poll body’s servers.

In a statement, the NPC said representatives from the COMELEC attended the clarificatory meeting held on January 25.

The commission said the poll body continued to deny that the database of overseas voters was compromised and clarified that a list of overseas voters is made publicly available on their website as mandated by law.

When asked to confirm if some of the artifacts came from their servers, COMELEC reiterated that it cannot be so since those were not yet generated for the 2022 elections, the NPC said.

On the topic of their full incident report, the privacy commission said COMELEC sought for extension of time to submit the approved report.

The NPC said it has directed the poll body to submit the full incident report on or before January 27, 2022. It is also ordered to submit additional documents discussed during the clarificatory meeting.

The privacy body said it also summoned a third-party provider of COMELEC “possibly involved in the issue” to appear in a clarificatory hearing.

The NPC did not identify the name of the provider.

“The commission is also pursuing leads regarding this issue, including a group of hackers claiming responsibility for the hack, especially on matters involving personal data,” it said.

“Rest assured we are continuing the investigation to determine if personal data was compromised, violations of the Data Privacy Act were committed, and the responsible individual or group for this incident,” said Privacy Commissioner John Henry Naga.

In a separate clarificatory meeting, the NPC said that Art Samaniego, Jr. and Manila Bulletin confirmed that the artifacts gathered by the agency are the same artifacts that were the basis of their published report.

“NPC required Mr. Samaniego and Manila Bulletin to provide additional artifacts for analysis and comparison with the artifacts collected by NPC’s complaints and investigation division,” it said.

“The artifacts were submitted to the Commission yesterday, January 26,” it added.

The separate meetings were attended by Executive Director Bartolome Sinoruz, Jr. Director James Jimenez, and Director Jeanni Flororita from COMELEC, and Mr. Herminio Coloma Jr., General Reynaldo Rafal, and Art Samaniego Jr. from the Manila Bulletin

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