Comelec won't suspend overseas voting

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 02 2014 08:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 02 2014 04:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite the mandatory repatriation of migrant Filipino workers in some countries, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not about to stop the overseas voter’s registration in the affected countries.

According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, they have not suspended the voter’s registration in Israel, Libya, Afghanistan, Kenya and Iraq although the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had raised the crisis alert levels in those countries.

Jimenez said they are waiting for instructions from the DFA, which has not recommended a suspension of registration of Filipino voters.

“Post sends a recommendation to Comelec if they find it’s too dangerous to continue registration or if registration is not feasible. On the basis of that recommendation, registration is either suspended or not. So far, no suspension has been ordered,” he noted.

“We act solely on the basis of the posts’ recommendation. If the post doesn’t recommend suspension, we don’t issue orders,” he added.

Crisis Alert Level 4, or the mandatory repatriation phase, is now enforced in the Gaza Strip, Libya and Iraq while Crisis Alert Level 3, or voluntary repatriation phase, has been raised in Afghanistan by the DFA due to worsening security situation there.

Working with the DFA, the Comelec is hoping to gather one million new overseas voters for the 2016 elections.