No to junking voter rolls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not inclined to scrap the entire voters list in Maguindanao as requested by Gov. Ismael Mangudadatu following revelations of massive cheating in the province during the 2004 and 2007 polls.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the postponement of today’s scheduled elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, of which Maguindanao is a part, was not enough reason to junk the voters’ list.
In a recent interview, the poll chief said the Comelec was set to deny Mangudadatu’s request to dissolve the existing voters’ registration list.
“If you annul the Maguindanao voters’ list, then the lists in Sulu, Basilan, Lanao del Sur could also be annulled because many might make a similar request, too. We’re more inclined to deny the request. That can’t be done. You’d encourage the annulment of an entire voters’ list,” Brillantes said.
Aside from setting a precedent, the Comelec chair said such a process would also be costly for the Comelec, adding, “Every time you annul, you have to have a new registration. It’s a very expensive process.”
In a letter to the Comelec on July 14, Mangudadatu urged the poll body to dissolve the province’s voter rolls to pave the way for “a total and absolute cleansing of the list.”