Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SC rule extends voters’ registration to Jan.9

By Tetch Torres
First Posted 15:24:00 12/15/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Eleksyon 2010, Elections

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20091215-242165/SC-rule-extends-voters-registration-to-Jan9

MANILA, Philippines—Voters can still register until the second week of January to vote in the 2010 national elections, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

The high court's ruling granted the petition of Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino, who urged the Comelec to strike down Comelec Resolution 8585 on voters’ registration and extend the deadline to accommodate first time registrants.

The Voter’s Registration Act of 1996 said that registration of voters shall be conducted daily but prohibited only during 120 days before a regular election or on Jan. 10, 2010, said Palatino in his petition.

“The deadline of application of registration of voters should be on Jan. 9, 2010, not Oct. 31, 2009 (as stated in the Comelec Resolution 8585) which is 70 days earlier than is prescribed by the statute,” said Palatino and other petitioners from youth organizations.

In an SMS message, Palatino told INQUIRER.net Tuesday that he welcomed the SC ruling, adding that he “expects Comelec to immediately comply and enlist eligible voters nationwide.”

Comelec chairman Melo said in a separate interview that the Comelec has yet to receive the copy of the resolution “before making a comment” although en banc discussions are ongoing on the matter.

“There have been reports that the Supreme Court ruled to extend the registration but we cannot make a formal statement without a copy of the resolution first. Rest assured that we are already discussing the matter,” Melo told INQUIRER.net over the phone.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal told Inquirer .net last week that 49, 225,089 Filipinos in the country and abroad have registered for next year’s national and local elections—up from 45.029 million registered voters in 2007 and 43.5 million in 2004.

The high registration turnout is due to Filipinos’ high interest to vote in presidential elections and use the poll automation technology, aside from “successful registration drives” held both in Comelec offices and out-of-office or satellite enlistment areas like schools, shopping malls and barangay (village) covered courts nationwide.

Close to 18,000 national and local positions—including one president and vice president, 12 senators and over 270 posts at the House of Representatives—are up for grabs in the 2010 elections.

With reports from Anna Valmero

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20091215-242165/SC-rule-extends-voters-registration-to-Jan9

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