Comelec welcomes SC decision to allow PDLs to vote | Inquirer News

Comelec welcomes SC decision to allow PDLs to vote

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 05:57 PM September 01, 2022
The Comelec has welcomed the decision of the SC to allow PDLs to vote

The Comelec head office at the Palace del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court’s decision to allow qualified persons deprived of liberty (PDL) to register and cast ballots in the elections was welcomed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday.

According to Comelec spokesperson Atty. Rex Laudiangco, the high court’s decision to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the agency in 2016 — preventing it from implementing several provisions under Comelec Resolution 9371 which regulated the voting of PDLs — affirmed its “commitment to fair play and equity.”

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“In upholding the validity of Resolution No. 9371, the Supreme Court affirmed Comelec’s commitment to the rule of law, due process, fair play, and equity, and in championing the constitutional right to suffrage of all qualified Filipino citizens,” Laudiangco said in a statement.

With this development, the following PDLs may vote both in the national and local elections:

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  • confined in jail, formally charged for any crime/s and awaiting/undergoing trial; or
  • serving a sentence of imprisonment for less than one (1) year; or
  • whose conviction of a crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government such as rebellion, sedition, violation of the firearms laws or any crime against national security or for any other crime is on appeal

Comelec Chairman George Garcia in a public briefing also on Thursday said qualified PDLs may vote in areas where they are registered if they are detained there, but would need the court’s approval if they needed to vote elsewhere.

“Kung ‘yung PDL ay botante doon sa lugar kung saan sila nakakulong sa kasalukuyan o in custody, doon po sila makakaboto,” said Garcia.

(If the PDL is a voter in the place where they are currently imprisoned or in custody, they can vote there.)

“Kung sakali naman po na sa ibang lugar, puwede naman sila samahan mismo ng ating mga custodian. Subalit, kinakailangan magpaalam po sa korte para ‘yung korte mismo ang magsabi na pwe-pwedeng makaboto, kinakailangang protektahan din ‘yung kapakanan ng person deprived of liberty kung sakaling sila ay pabobotohin sa presinto kung saan sila naka-rehistro,” he added.

(But if they are in another place, our custodians can accompany them. However, it is necessary to inform the court so that the court itself can say that it is possible to vote, it is also necessary to protect the welfare of the person deprived of liberty in the event that they are voting in the precinct where they are registered.)

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TAGS: Comelec, PDL, Politics, rights, SC, vote
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