Comelec reinstating 238,000 overseas voters

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2013 10:15 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2013 06:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is reinstating over 238,000 overseas Filipino voters who were earlier delisted for failing to beat the deadline to manifest their intent to vote in the midterm elections.

These voters were unable to vote in 2 consecutive elections and were originally deactivated by the Comelec in accordance with election laws.

Chairman Sixto Brillantes said based on the new resolution they signed, the 238,000 voters will be allowed to vote by merely appearing during the designated voting schedules.

"Tthey can activate it by coming out and voting when they go to vote that's the manifestation, the mere act of appearing," he said.

Brillantes explained that the new rule will be more fair to the voters. "Interpretation lang nung batas sa OAV, 'di kami sigurado kung mandatory. These are more fair."

"We'll probably print additional ballots, 'di necessarily all," he added.

Last Friday, a group of OFWs sought an audience with Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca to plead their case to be allowed to vote despite being delisted.

The Comelec last year imposed a deadline of December 21, 2012 for OFWs who failed to vote in the last 2 elections to manifest their intent or be delisted.

"Ano masama if pagbigyan natin sila we came back to originigal plan na iyung darating will be act of activation?" Brillantes said.

Brillantes reiterated that 7 areas worldwide will have automated elections.

He hopes to implement online voting in the future so that more voters overseas can cast their ballots.

"But that would require an amendment of law," he said.