By Gabriel Pabico Lalu | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections reminded individuals who lost relatives due to COVID-19 to notify local election offices and prevent any possible anomalies during election time.
James Jimenez, the Comelec spokesperson, apologized for speaking in the middle of people’s grief but noted that one way to protect the memory of people’s loved ones is to ensure that their names will not be used in electoral fraud.
Many dead persons’ names appeared on the Comelec ballots in past elections, indicating that they had been used to favor one candidate or an opposing candidate. Another issue involves flying voters or those who vote in a precinct where they are not registered.
“COVID-19 has taken — and is still taking — too much from us, so I apologize for bringing this up. Sadly, politics touches all aspects of our lives, intruding even upon our grief,” Jimenez said on his Facebook account.
“Please consider helping us make sure that the memory of our loved ones [is] not sullied come elections,” he added.
According to Jimenez, relatives can call Comelec local offices in the area where their dead relatives had voted.
“If you have had someone pass recently, please inform the COMELEC office in the city or municipality where they were registered as voters. This will help ensure that their names are properly taken off the lists of voters,” he noted.
As Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal saw an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospital occupancy and death toll rose.
As of Friday, the country saw an additional 8,719 COVID-19 cases, bringing the active case count to 102,799. The total number of casualties is at 16,529 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 159 new deaths.