Registration in jail for Reyeses OKd
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines—Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, high profile detainees at the Puerto Princesa City jail, need not line up for their biometrics at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The Comelec office in the town of Coron, known as turf of the Reyes brothers and where they are running for the town’s top posts, will come to them instead just to update their voter’s profile.
The Palawan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 52 granted on Friday an urgent motion filed by the Reyes brothers’ legal counsel to order the Comelec to get the detainees’ biometrics data at their detention facility instead of giving them a pass to get out of jail.
The court-arranged biometrics registration for the brothers will require a Comelec official from Coron to fly to Puerto Princesa via Manila, since there is no direct public transportation link between the two locations.
The RTC is expected to release its order to the Comelec on Monday when the Comelec reopens its registration process after suspending it for a week to pave the way for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs).
RTC Judge Angelo Ariza granted the Reyeses’ motion to request the Coron Comelec office to travel to Puerto Princesa City and update the detained brothers’ biometrics.
“Considering their registration has been deactivated because they were not able to vote during the past two elections, we filed the motion asking the court to compel the Comelec to complete their registration requirements,” said Joaquin Hizon, counsel for the Reyeses, on Saturday.
Joel and Mario both filed their COCs for mayor and vice mayor of Coron, their hometown in northern Palawan, on Thursday. Their COCs were filed by a representative on their behalf.
Mario was the mayor of Coron before he and his brother Joel went into hiding three years ago, after they were named as alleged masterminds in the killing of Palawan journalist and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega in this city on Jan. 24, 2011.
The Reyes brothers, who are facing a murder charge, were arrested in Phuket, Thailand last month.
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