DAVAO CITY – The No Bio, No Boto campaign of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has temporarily deactivated 97,170 out of the 1,034,170 registered voters in Davao City.
The Republic Act No. 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Law, which was approved on February 15, 2013, provides for mandatory biometrics voter registration in the Comelec’s bid to keep the list of voters clean, complete, permanent, and updated.
Davao del Sur Provincial Election Supervisor, Ma. Febes Barlaan said in a press conference Monday that Davao City’s 97,170 registered voters were deactivated because they failed to meet the biometrics registration deadline set by Comelec last October 31.
However there is a pending Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) petitioned at the Supreme Court to stop the Comelec from implementing the No Bio, No Boto policy during their en banc deliberations, said Barlaan.
The Supreme Court last week issued the TRO acting on the petition of Kabataan Partylist that asked the high court to stop the implementation of the Mandatory Biometrics Law.
Barlaan said voters with no biometrics were not deleted on their system, but were just deactivated for a meantime segregated and transferred to other folder.
“So kung ano naman po ang decision ng Supreme Court, all we have to do is to transfer, isang touch lang naman yan, isang pindot, dalawa, mababalik sila (Whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, all we have to do is click or two then they will be reactivated),” Barlaan said.
But if the Supreme Court will see RA 10367 as constitutional, then 160,472 deactivated voters in Davao Region will not be eligible to vote in the 2016 elections, she added.
Barlaan said if Supreme Court will not grant this petition, Region 11 has left with more or less two million registered voters for 2016 elections: 937,000 registered voters in Davao City; 373,000 registered voters in Davao del Sur; 525,343 from Davao del Norte, 158,500 from Davao Occidental; 408,000 in Compostela Valley; and 319,971 in Davao Oriental.
But, Vennel Francis Chenfoo, third Nominee of Kabataan Partylist said the Comelec’s campaign is “repressive”.
“If the COMELEC is really on its effort to finalize the election management system, they should not hamper the very right of every registered voters,” Chenfoo said.
“Hampering these voters with their right is against the constitution and we can’t afford a single voter to be removed from the list,” said Chenfoo. (davaotoday.com)