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

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020   •   881

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.

Ex-Comelec chairman Jose Melo passes away

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chairman Jose Melo has passed away, the poll body’s spokesperson announced.

In a message posted on Twitter, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said Melo died on Sunday night. He was 88 years old.

“Sad news tonight. Just received word that Chairman Jose A.R. Melo, former SC Justice, and the COMELEC Chairman who oversaw the country’s transition to full automation from 2008 to 2010, has passed away. He was 88 years old,” Jimenez said.

He, however, did not disclose the cause of Melo’s death .

Prior to leading the poll body, Melo served as Supreme Court Associate Justice for nearly 10 years.

Cavite gov’t to allow visits to cemeteries until Oct. 27

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

The provincial government of Cavite on Thursday announced that it will allow visits to cemeteries from October 1 to 27 but laid down some rules for those planning to do so to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

In a Facebook post, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said the cemeteries in the province are open during said period from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. but will be closed from October 28 to November 2 as agreed by local authorities.

He also warned visitors that eating meals and drinking alcoholic beverages inside the cemeteries are prohibited. Videokes and selling of food are also not allowed.

“Bawal po ang kainan kahit sa mga pribado at sosyal na libingan. Mga alta, matutong makisama. Kung bawal ang kainan, lalong bawal ang inuman at lasingan,” Remulla said.

“Bawal maglako ng mga pagkain at inumin sa sementeryo,” he added.

The governor said the municipal and city government will also issue regulations on the number of persons allowed to enter the cemeteries in their respective areas.

He stressed that visitors should strictly observe health protocols including the wearing of face mask and face shield.

“Kailangan naka-face mask at face shield. Mag-ingat lamang sa mga aksidente lalo na sa pagsindi ng kandila dahil ang face shield ay gawa sa plastic,” Remulla said.

He likewise emphasized that those below 18 years of age are not allowed to go to cemeteries.

“Ang mga bata below 18 years old ay bawal pumunta sa sementeryo. Alam ko na mahirap ito pero mas malakas mahawa at magkalat ng sakit ang mga kabataan kaysa matatanda,” Remulla explained.

“Dahil sa pandemya, ay kailangan pa rin nating paulit-ulit na ipaalala ang social distancing rules. Lagpas 10,000 na ang positibo sa COVID dito sa Cavite at malakas ang kutob ko na baka lalong kumalat ang sakit na ito ngayong papalapit na undas,” he added.

Duterte not interested in term extension – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte is not interested in extending his term of office amid talks on the proposed postponement of the May 2022 national elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will leave it to the Filipino people to decide on whether to delay the next polls that will pick his successor.

“The president is not interested in extending his term. And he leaves it to the Filipino people, the sovereign people, to decide if they want to amend the Constitution to postpone the elections,” Roque said during a televised press briefing.

Duterte’s term will end on June 30, 2022.

Roque said the postponement of the 2022 elections is only possible through the amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

House Deputy Majority Leader Mikey Arroyo earlier raised the proposal for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider postponing the May 2022 elections due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease.

The Palace said the country still has time to prepare for the next elections and that it could learn from the examples of other countries that conducted elections even during the pandemic.

The Constitution mandates the conduct of the presidential and vice presidential, senators and House representatives’ elections every second Monday of May every six years.

Comelec earlier said the matter of postponing the polls is not a call of the poll body, but rather, up to the president and the Congress.

Malacañang also said it will let the Commission on Elections decide on the system it will use to conduct the next elections, including the political campaign period, following proposals to use mail-in and postal voting to ensure the health and safety of voters.

“The decision lies with the Comelec at hindi po natin pinangungunahan ang Comelec pero as I said, baka po kailangan po ang pamamaraan ng pag-conduct ng election,” Roque said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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