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Comelec denies blackmailing SC

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 04:55 AM December 11, 2015
Andres-Bautista -0515

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista at the Comelec office in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ARNOLD ALMACEN

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista on Thursday denied he is blackmailing the Supreme Court (SC) when he warned against the possibility of postponing the May 2016 polls due to the temporary restraining order (TRO) the high court issued on their “no bio, no boto” policy.

READ: Comelec fears ‘flying voters’ with SC TRO on ‘no bio, no boto’

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“How can I even blackmail the Supreme Court? I do not blackmail anybody,” said Bautista in an interview with reporters.

The TRO stemmed from a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed last Nov. 25 by Kabataan party-list to assail the constitutionality of the policy, which is anchored on the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Law.

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Bautista had raised the possibility of postponing next year’s elections due to the delays being encountered by the Comelec in their preparations due to the TRO.

Bautista explained how the TRO has caused a domino effect in the poll agency’s preparation, particularly in finalizing the project of precincts or the precinct assignment of voters, the number of vote counting machines and official ballots, and the customization of the automated election system.

However, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon accused Bautista of blackmailing the Supreme Court into lifting the TRO by sowing fear of having delayed elections.

Meanwhile, Bautista welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to tackle in an en banc session next week the TRO it issued on the “no bio, no boto” policy.

READ: SC issues TRO on Comelec’s ‘No Bio, No Boto’ rule

“We are very pleased with that development,” he told reporters.

“As you know, I wrote a letter last Tuesday, essentially telling them not on the legal but more on the practical, operational issues, things in the Comelec in respect with our preparations,” he said.

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About three million potential voters were not able to file their biometrics data before the deadline.

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TAGS: Andres Bautista, Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, Mandatory Biometrics Registration Law
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