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HOUSE RESOLUTION 1540: A CALL FOR COMELEC TRANSPARENCY IN THE PUBLICATION OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS’ LIST February 20, 2007

Posted by s511 in electoral reforms, Human Rights, party-list system and elections, Position Papers, Press Statements.
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One of the basic ills of our flawed electoral process we had inherited from the Marcos regime and which continues as a major problem to the present is the bloated and questionable voters’ list.

 

When the late Mr. Ferdinand Marcos called for presidential snap elections on 7 February 1986, he succeeded in disenfranchising an estimated one million two hundred thousand voters by collapsing precincts and transferring the list of voters from one precinct to another in opposition bailiwick areas.  This bad habit from the Marcos years continues to haunt us with oftentimes the sheer incompetence or inefficiency of some COMELEC personnel.  On the other hand, it has been known to all and sundry that certain unscrupulous elements considered experts in the field of elections have done more harm than good to the ordinary voting populace by using their skills in the manipulation of votes known to all as dagdag-bawas.  The charges against Mr. Garcillano in the Garci case filed before the joint committee hearings of Information, Suffrage, National Defense and Communications Technology has magnified this in perspective in the last 2004 elections, yet up to now nothing definitive has been done to guard against possible  election fraud in the coming 2007 polls.  The implementation of the Automated Electoral Systems Act cannot be enforced, according to Comelec for time constraints.

The inability to enforce the Automated Law would mean making us legitimate registered voters vulnerable to the shenanigans of unscrupulous elements bent on cheating in the coming elections.  This covers the phases from registration to voting to counting to canvassing and to proclamation of winners.

 

House Resolution 1540 filed today by twenty five members of the House, upon initiative of Akbayan representatives, therefore seeks to ease part of this heavy problem at the level of the registration phase by pushing COMELEC to post as early as now the registered voters list on a national scale in order to ensure transparency and avoid the disenfranchisement of  millions of voters who might not find their names or their precincts or their polling booths on the day of voting on May 14.

 

However, as we call on the COMELEC to publish the registered voters list, we cannot rely on them alone.  No less than an organized citizenry must move along with their trusted barangay officials to ensure that the voters list that will be published is clean and free of fake names and flying voters. 

 

How do we do this?  There are 1,520 municipalities and 117 cities all over the Philippines.  In each of these are housed the local Comelec offices who are mandated to post their cleansed list of registered voters.  Citizens and their local officials must make sure that this list is posted at the municipal and city levels – which they are mandated to do starting from the 13th of February.  The call must therefore be made to the 1,520 municipalities and 117 cities by the various network of election watchdog NGOs, church groups, political parties including party list organizations and human rights groups.  We must call on all these Comelec offices to not only post their list of voters but to post this in the internet. 

 

Meanwhile, we shall likewise call on the local Comelec, with the help of the local government, to provide a list of voters at the barangay level so that the citizens and their barangay leaders can check on the registered list.  The barangay halls can post the list of voters in their offices and likewise post the barangay list in the internet.

 

Any discrepancy between the Comelec list and the barangay list – that is, the discovery that there still are the names of dead people in the list, for instance, must be reported immediately by ensuring the local Civil Registrar’s certification of the status of the voter, and thus sending this to the COMELEC.

 

We have talked to some citizens watchdogs, teachers, students, barangays and city officials and are encouraged by their willingness to cooperate.  In Metro-Manila, we shall call on 13 city mayors to ask for their cooperation and reach out to their barangays and citizens.

 

 

Etta P. Rosales

Risa Hontiveros

Mario Aguja

AKBAYAN Representatives

 

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Comments»

1. Antonio - March 2, 2007

Very nice site! Good work.


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