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Manila Standard : 400k added to registered voters

News & Interviews
1 November 2021

By Manila Standard

Some 400,000 more people were added to the roster of 62 million registered voters for next year’s national polls as a result of the extended voter registration, a spokesman for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Sunday.

“We think it was generally successful,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez of the recently closed registration process that was extended until Oct. 30.

Despite the extension, the Comelec is still on schedule for its activities for the 2022 elections, he said, noting that each item on its slate had slack time to account for unforeseen circumstances.

The registration period was supposed to end on Sept. 30 but was extended until Oct. 30 because of pressure from Congress.

On Saturday, the Comelec said convicts may still run for office as long as the sentence was no more than 18 months.

“To be disqualified, there must be a conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude (not all crimes do), or a sentence to a penalty of more than 18 months,” Jimenez said on his Twitter account.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, any person who has been declared by a competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion, or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than 18 months or for a crime involving moral turpitude, will be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar welcomed the initiative of some presidential aspirants and other candidates in the 2022 local and national elections to undergo a drug test.

Eleazar said the move reflects the candidates’ commitment to drug-free governance.

"As applicants for government positions, candidates for the May 2022 elections should indeed be at the forefront of showing to the public that they are clean and that they will continue addressing the problem," he said in a statement on Saturday.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao and Ronald dela Rosa as well as Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have supported the proposal to require both national and local candidates to undergo drug tests.

Five vice presidential candidates also back the drug testing of candidates. They are Senators Vicente Sotto III, Francis Pangilinan, and Christopher Go; Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, and Willie Ong.