Sunday, November 4, 2012

COMELEC Union bewails Enrile's bullying of a poll employee

COMELEC Employees Union
November 5, 2012

THE rank and file employees union of the Commission on Elections today deplored Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's mistreatment of an Election Officer in Cagayan province during the last day of voters' registration on October 31, 2012.

BOY AND JOHNNY.  "Boy, I want this girl out of my district."
"The COMELEC Employees Union deplores the bullying done to Sta Ana Cagayan Election Officer Edna Tacazon by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and his nephew Jose Mari Ponce," said Mac Ramirez, National President of the COMELEC-EU.

Tacazon, 61, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the phone that she got a scolding from Enrile for just "doing her job."  

She said Ponce, who is the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Administrator, also threatened to sue her for refusing to register two women at 8:45 p.m. way past the 5:00 p.m. COMELEC imposed deadline of voters' registration.

Tacazon added that Enrile even called COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on the phone to demand to have the Election Officer fired from her post.  Before leaving, Enrile allegedly told her: "Ayusin mo buhay mo.  Huwag kang mamumulitika (Get yourself right.  Don't play politics)."

"Tacazon doesn't deserve such treatment, she's just doing her job.  We commend her for standing her ground," said Ramirez.

Meanwhile, according to Armando M. Mallorca, COMELEC-EU Vice-President for External Affairs, COMELEC employees nationwide were exposed to a lot of pressure and bullying from several quarters, especially from politicians and influential people at the last few days of the poll list up process.

"We need to understand that aside from dealing with thousands of irate last minute registrants, COMELEC employees in the field had to deal with other big-headed and influential people, among them angry politicians and local leaders who complained about us not having to accommodate all of their constituents, as if it was our fault; when in fact they had more than 15 months to visit us to register, but they chose to come to us on the last minute," said Mallorca.

"So, all of the harsh words and scolding that COMELEC employees got during the last few days of voter registration were just unfair.  And we weren't even paid for our overtime services for the month of October!" he added.

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