Failure to vote in BOL plebiscite not ground for forfeiture of voting rights in May polls
MANILA, Philippines — Failure to participate in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite does not mean disqualification to vote in the May 2019 midterm polls.
Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez issued this clarification on Wednesday as reports have been circulating that those who failed to vote in the plebiscite will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming election.
Jimenez explained that the BOL plebiscite is not a regular election; thus, it exempts the public to the rule.
“A plebiscite is a special election called for a specific purpose. It is not part of the regular election cycle,” Jimenez said in a press briefing.
“So would failure to vote during [the] BOL plebiscite mean that you can’t vote this May? No,” Jimenez added.
A regular election pertains to the change in leadership of the President, Vice President, Senators, and local officials.
Jimenez issued this clarification after text messages spread around during the BOL plebiscite areas last January 21 and February 6.
While he noted that the rumor has led to an increase in the voter turnout for the plebiscite, Jimenez said it is not justified.
“It might be a strategy to increase voter turnout. I agree with having a higher a voter turnout, but not in the means, kasi panloloko ho ito (because it is fraud),” Jimenez stressed. /ee
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