As Comelec ignores calls to extend voter reg
Youth solon to
question legality of shortened voter registration before High Court
By Kabataan Party-list
October 28, 2009
QUEZON CITY – As
youths and fans from around the world endure long lines today to watch
Michael Jackson’s final movie, “This Is It,” so are first-time-voters
and new registrants in the Philippines as the deadline of voter
registration nears this November 1.
originally shortened and set to fall on October 31 but the Commission
on Elections (Comelec) recently extended the deadline to November 1 as
complaints of terribly long lines and queues continue to hound the
“Still, this is not
enough. A one-day extension would not make much of a difference as
long as numerous factors hinder our youth and first-time-voters from
registering,” Palatino said.
Palatino said that he
would lead first-time voters and youth groups in filing a Petition for
Certiorari and Mandamus with Application for Preliminary Mandatoy
Injuction on Friday, October 30, before the Supreme Court.
“This is it. After the
Comelec stubbornly ignored our appeals and valid complaints, we are
left with no choice but to take them to task,” he said.
The Petition, he said,
will question the legality of the Comelec’s shortening of the period
for continuing registration.
Under RA 8189, or the
“Voter’s Registration Act of 1996,” the pertinent provision on the
period of registration states (Sec. 8 System of Continuing
Registration of voters), “No registration shall…be conducted during
the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular
election and ninety (90) days before a special election.”
therefore, in its issuances, and despite appeals by several sectors to
extend voter registration, has shortened the period CONTRARY TO what
is mandated by law,” Palatino said.
He also added that
calls to extend voter registration are more reasonable, practical and
justifiable in light of the recent onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and
Pepeng, as well as the limited number of biometric machines and
unavailability of Comelec satellite registration sites, among others.
Palatino earlier filed
House Resolutions 1162, directing the Comelec to return the deadline
for voter registration to its original deadline of December 2009; HR
1443, calling to extend voter registration for those affected by
typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng; and, HR 1336, calling for a one-day leave
with pay for employees’ voter registration.