Manila Bulletin - Bongbong warns Comelec against disenfranchising 4-M voters

News & Interviews
26 June 2015

By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin

ManilaBulletinOnlineThe Commission on Elections (Comelec) may face legal problems and public anger if four million registered voters who have no biometrics data would be barred from voting in the 2016 elections.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, made this prediction as the poll body continues its “gentle persuasion” to get millions of registered voters to have their biometrics taken as a requirement for voting in the scheduled May 2016 national elections.

Marcos said the Comelec would be inviting trouble if the four million voters will be disqualified from going to the polls in the 2016 presidential and local elections because of the lack of biometrics.

“How will the Comelec be able to convince the people that this is right? I hope the people will not get mad. But I’m afraid they surely will,” Marcos said in a statement.

Biometrics data, which includes a voter’s photograph, fingerprint and signature, is mandated by the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act of 2013 as a requisite for voting. The poll body has started sending letters to encourage registered voters to have their biometrics taken, under threat of being delisted from the voters’ roster.

 “We all know how passionate the Filipinos are about the elections. I wouldn’t be surprised if those who would be disqualified from voting will give the Comelec nightmares, such as filing cases in courts or social actions,” Marcos said.

Marcos echoed the Comelec’s appeal for the electorate to have their biometrics taken and even urged local government units to boost the poll body’s effort.

“I think local officials can help a lot because their constituents look up to them. Kapag sinabi nila sa kanilang nasasakupan na magpa-biometrics kayo, palagay ko susunod sila,” he said.