'Hakot' system observed during ARMM voters' registration

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 09 2012 03:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2012 11:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The “hakot” system or the ferrying of potential voters was observed in some areas in the Automonous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), an official said on Monday.

ARMM Assemblywoman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis said she has been receiving reports from the military that some voters are being ferried to registration sites, a practice that is prohibited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Gutoc-Tomawis encouraged voters to go out and register for the 2013 elections. The automated registration runs from July 9 until 18.

The registration aims to clean up the voters’ list, which is believed to be fraught with voters who are underaged, registered in multiple areas, or already dead.

“Sa mga voters going out for the ARMM registration, huwag kayong matakot, i-report ang hakot sa Comelec, PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) and watchdogs,” Gutoc-Tomawis told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.

“I-text lang ang makikitang kwestyonable. Kung may nakitang voters registration form na inilalagay sa bahay at hindi sa eskwelahan, [isumbong niyo sa kinauukulan],” she added.

Gutoc-Tomawis noted that only one classroom per school was allotted for the registration because classes are ongoing.

She said all registration sites are equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to monitor the situation.

Security has been tightened in the region, with some 10,000 police and military personnel deployed in election hotspots.

Around 500 election officers were assigned to work for the re-listing of the voters in the region.

Gutoc-Tomawis particularly asked first time voters to bring with them documents that will prove that they are already of legal age.

Those who do not have birth certificates, meanwhile, can still provide other authenticated documents that will prove that they are residents in the area. - with a report from Jasper Acosta, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao