Showing posts with label COMELEC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COMELEC. Show all posts

Monday, March 12, 2018

House panel resets village polls to October

MANILA - THE Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms of the House of Representatives postponed the barangay (village) elections in May in anticipation of a plebiscite for the New Constitution in October 2018.

In a 17-0 vote, the House panel decided to postpone the polls to the second Monday of October.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

COMELEC to probe Sotto fraud expose

THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Wednesday said it will investigate alleged poll irregularities earlier exposed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III that supposedly altered the results of the 2016 national elections.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

COMELEC: Palace statement to end 'uncertainty' of village polls' fate

James Jimenez
INTRAMUROS, Manila - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is hoping that Malacanang's pronouncement stating that this year's Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) will push through, will put an end to the uncertainty on whether to postpone it or not.

"This is something that the people should be aware of because the President is all too often used as an excuse (to postpone BSKE)," COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview Tuesday.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ballot printing in full swing despite calls for another postponement of village and youth polls

INTRAMUROS, Manila (17 Feb 2018) - PRINTING of additional 18 million ballots for the coming barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) elections has pushed through despite strong indications from leaders of Congress to postpone anew the two polls.

Commission Elections (COMELEC) spokesman James Jimenez said the additional ballots were for new voters who registered during the 25-day continuing registration held last November 2017 and also for voters of Mindanao in Southern Philippines.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Malacanang tells COMELEC to hold itself accountable for 'Comeleak'

MANILA (7 Jan 2017) - Malacanang on Friday urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to accept accountability for the hack on its database last year that exposed millions of voters to identity theft and fraud.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar also called on the COMELEC to release its investigation report on the hack, a day after the National Privacy Commission declared the election watchdog's chair, Andres Bautista, liable for "gross negligence" that left the election body's database highly vulnerable to cyber-attack.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ako Bicol, 12 other party-list groups axed

COMELEC to disqualify 40 more party-listers
By Gil C. Cabacungan, Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

CRACKING down on sham organizations seeking congressional seats, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Wednesday dropped Ako Bicol and 12 other party-list groups from the 2013 midterm balloting.

In a six-page resolution, the COMELEC en banc ruled that Ako Bicol, the topnotcher in the 2010 party-list race, could not participate in next year's elections for failure to pass strict scrutiny "through the lens" of existing laws and jurisprudence governing the party-list system.

Friday, June 1, 2012

COMELEC assures unhampered voting in Negros Occ special elections

The Visayan Daily Star

THE Commission on Elections yesterday said it will ensure that residents of the fifth district of Negros Occidental will be able to freely exercise their right to vote on Saturday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

COMELEC vows PWD-friendly precincts for 2013

VERA File | PWD Files 

THE Commission on Elections has promised to make voting precincts more accessible to persons with disabilities, even if Congress fails to pass the promised The Polling Center Accessibility Act in time for the May 2013 mid-term elections.

Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the COMELEC will issue resolutions to ensure that accessibility will no longer be a problem for PWD [persons with disabilities] voters in the upcoming polls, as it had been in the past.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

COMELEC orders Morato charged for electioneering

Manoling Morato and Maggie dela Riva
By:  Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines (18 May 2012) - The Commission on Elections on Friday said it found probable cause against former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Manuel "Manoling" Morato, for possible violation of election laws when he used his television show in 2010 to endorse the candidacies of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and actor Edu Manzano for president and vice president.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Supreme Court orders COMELEC to answer bid vs PCOS deal

By:  Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to file its comment to one of three petitions filed by various parties questioning the COMELEC's purchase of P1.8 billion worth of voting machines that were used during the 2010 elections.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Comelec finally admitted PCOS defective

By Bobit S. Avila 
March 19, 2012 | Opinion
Last Friday, I was in the midst of a very important meeting when a friend interrupted our meeting to show us a texted report that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally approved the purchase of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.  My meeting had nothing to do with politics, yet a report like that was shocking enough for us in Cebu because of the incident that happened in the town of Compostela, 25 kilometers North of Cebu City where they didn’t have any town officials for 22 months, thanks to the PCOS machines that doesn’t know now to count!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

COMELEC decides to buy Smartmatic's PCOS

By:  Rappler Beta

MANILA, Philippines (15 March 2012) -  IT'S final.  After weeks of dilly dallying, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) formally decided to exercise the "option to purchase" precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines from 2010 automation vendor Smartmatic.  These will be used in the 2013 national and local elections.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is PCOS?

What is PCOS?

As we move closer to the national and local elections of 2013, I will be writing an Automation Primer, a series of articles to explain various aspects of election automation.   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

COMELEC, DOJ take over investigation of 2004 poll fraud

Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr.
By:  Sheila Crisostomo 
09 February 2012.

MANILA, Philippines - The joint panel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will assume the lead in the investigation on the alleged cheating during the 2004 national elections.

Tagle named as new COMELEC Overseas Absentee Voting Committee Chair

Commissioner Lucenito N. Tag
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Wednesday announced the designation of COMELEC Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle as the new Chairman of the poll body’s Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV).

The COMELEC said in Resolution No. 9358, promulgated February 7, 2012, that Commissioner Armando C. Velasco has signified his intention to relinquish the Chairmanship of the Committee in favor of Commissioner Tagle. Velasco was designated Chairman of the COAV on August 11, 2009 by virtue of COMELEC Minute Resolution No. 09-0501.

Friday, May 6, 2011

COMELEC sets early voter's registration for 2013 polls

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA — Starting May 3, new and eligible voters for the upcoming 2013 elections can start filing their applications, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

“We are urging all eligible first-time voters who will turn at least 18 years old on May 2013 to file their voter's registration this early.  Let us avoid last-minute registrations so we can take part in electing our nation's leaders,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Deadline of registration is October 31, 2012 but the Comelec is encouraging early registration so it can prepare better for the conduct of automated polls with the use of special ballots, such as those used in the May 2010 national elections, he added.

Aside from first-time voters, persons who want to transfer registration records to a new residence; change, update or correct entries such as those for newly-wed women who changed surnames; and voters whose records were deactivated for failure to vote in the past two elections can also file their applications within the registration period.

All voter applications must be personally filed at the office of the election officer in the municipal or city office where the applicant resides and wishes to vote.

Voters no longer need to bring photographs because his or her biometrics records composed of a digital photograph, fingerprints, and signature will be entered in data capturing machines during the filing of registration.

The biometrics registration is important to purge the voter's list of duplicate registration records and to update records of voters who were unable to enroll their biometrics information with Comelec, according to Resolution No. 9149 promulgated on February 22.

Applications will be received from Monday to Saturday, inclusive of holidays during regular office hours from 8am to 5pm.  There will be no registration on December 22 to January 2 for the Christmas break.

Schedules for satellite registration in highly-populated areas will be announced after coordination with Comelec municipal and town offices.

Applicants must bring any valid school or government ID to register. Community tax certificates (Cedula) and certifications from the barangay will not be honored as valid identification documents.

For inquiries, contact the Comelec education and information department at (02) 525-9294. - By: Anna Valmero

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SC orders Palace, COMELEC, Congress to answer ARMM petitions

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday ordered the executive and legislative branches to answer petitions opposing the proposal to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) set in August this year to 2013.

In a two-page resolution, the SC gave the Palace, Commission on Elections (Comelec), Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to submit their respective comments to the petitions of groups led by Datu Michael Kida of the Maguindanao Federation of Autonomous Irrigators Association and lawyer Alex Macalawi of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Marawi City.

The respondents were given a non-extendible period of 10 days to comply with the order issued by Chief Justice Renato Corona in behalf of the SC full court that is on decision-writing recess until the third week of this month.

In separate petitions filed last month, the two groups composed of barangay officials and concerned voters in the ARMM questioned before the SC the legality of House Bill 4146 and Senate Bill 2756, which both intend to synchronize the ARMM polls with the mid-term national elections in 2013.

Kida and Macalawi both sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order enjoining Congress from further proceeding with both bills, which they argued are unconstitutional as they violate Republic Act 9054 (the ARMM’s Organic Act) that sets regional elections on the second Monday of September this year.

In his group’s petition, Kida argued that the proposed postponement also “violates the principles of a democratic and republican state mandated by the Constitution, and the right of Muslims in the region to local autonomy.”

The proposed postponement “would deny the voters in ARMM their right to elect their officials for a period of two years, in violation of their right to equal protection of the law, which guarantees the right of all qualified citizens to participate in local government on an equal footing,” Kida’s group further argued.

Macalawi’s group, on the other hand, argued in its 35-page petition that HB 4146, if enacted to law, would be the eighth postponement of the ARMM polls within the region’s 21-year existence.

“And this time Congress should be enjoined from this corrupt customary practice of repeatedly postponing ARMM polls and to stick to the prescribed regular ARMM elections provided in RA 9054,” the group said.

But the two groups differed as to when the ARMM polls should exactly be held. The first one believes that the polls should be held on Sept. 12 pursuant to RA 9054, and the second group, on Aug. 8 as set in RA 9333.

The administration of President Aquino supports the proposed postponement of the ARMM polls, saying many local officials in the autonomous region support it.

Meanwhile, the Comelec has rescheduled the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the ARMM polls.

In Resolution No. 9211, the Comelec said candidates can file their COCs from May 14 to 18. The original schedule was May 9 to 13.

There are some two million registered voters in the ARMM provinces of Basilan (except for Isabela City), Maguindanao (except for Cotabato City), Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Tawi-Tawi.

They will elect their regional governor and vice governor, and members of the regional legislative assembly.

“The COC shall be filed by the candidate personally or by his duly authorized representative. No COC shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile,” the Comelec said.

The poll body asked candidates not to use titles in their names when they file their COCs.

“Titles such as don, datu, doctor, ginoo or words of similar imports shall not be allowed,” it said. – Edu Punay, with Sheila Crisostomo,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

COMELEC taste for solid narra beds hit hard

NARRA tree

MANILA, Philippines — This is one failed bidding the Commission on Elections will not likely rue.

A bidding failure may have helped the COMELEC escape further controversy after the poll body Tuesday came under fire for its choice of Pterocarpus indicus as furniture for its five cottages in Baguio City.

For people allergic to scientific terms, Pterocarpus indicus simply refers to the national tree narra.

Environment lawyer Jose Gerardo Medina, in a letter to COMELEC law department director Ferdinand Rafanan, pointed out that narra is an endangered species.  Rafanan also chairs the Comelec’s bids and awards committee (BAC).

Medina particularly protested the project’s specifications — that the 11 living room sets, 36 dining chairs, seven “king-sized beds” and 16 “queen-sized beds” be made of solid narra.

The wooden furniture, worth about P2.56 million, is part of the P9-million project for the supply of furnishings for the COMELEC’s five cottages that the poll body approved last December.

The bids committee certified the project as urgent as the COMELEC plans to hold summer sessions in Baguio.

“For the past three decades, the narra tree has been classified as an endangered species, the cutting and utilization of which is highly regulated and to a certain extent prohibited,” Medina said.

“As such, specifying furniture to be made from solid narra would be encouraging the use of an endangered premium hardwood species and would run contrary to the policy of the national government in protecting the narra species,” he said.

Critically endangered

Medina threw in another bit of advice: “Perhaps it would be best if the Comelec shy away from the use of endangered species and do its part in helping preserve the narra tree.”
The late Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes in 2007 issued an administrative order establishing a “national list of threatened Philippine plants.”  Narra, along with yakal and kamagong, falls under the “critically endangered species” category.

Possible changes

Rafanan, in a phone interview, said no individual or company showed up to submit their bids by Tuesday’s 10 a.m. bidding deadline.

He said the bids committee was aware of the restrictions on the use of narra and that he called a high DENR official for advice.

“We were told that finished products of narra are not banned.  The assumption is that they were crafted in compliance with our environmental laws,” Rafanan said, adding there were some furniture companies that mass cultivate narra trees for commercial purposes.

“We may ask the en banc to change the specifications,” he said.

Recycled wood

Medina suggested that the COMELEC use pre-fabricated or recycled wood available in the market.

“High-end furniture nowadays are made not of solid wood but rather of engineered wood or laminated boards which are equally as beautiful and functional,” he said.

Rafanan said the COMELEC may simply buy furniture priced at P500,000 and below, or settle for a negotiated contract if a second bidding fails.

The Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature, in its online “Red List of Threatened Species,” placed the status of narra under the “vulnerable” category.  - By Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 04/27/2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

COMELEC and watchdog gear up voter information in Muslim communities outside ARMM

QUEZON CITY, Philippines - The Commission on Elections and a citizen watchdog that is operating in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have started a voters’ education partnership program intended for Muslim voters who came from the ARMM, but are residing in Metro Manila and other areas outside of the region.

Amid calls to move the constitutionally-set voting in ARMM in August, the Education and Information Department of the Comelec and Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reform jointly conducted voters’ education on the continuing registration for the electorates coming from the autonomous region but are residing in Muslim communities in Culiat and Tandang Sora areas in Quezon City.

Director James Jimenez, of the Comelec’s EID and Jumda Sabaani, chairperson of C-CARE, who were among the speakers in a forum Sunday attended by some 200 electorates, mostly Maguindanaon, Tausog and Maranao, took turns in stressing that “every citizen of the country can only register once.” 

The emphasis was premised on a finding that many electorates registered in ARMM were also registered in the barangays where they have established residence in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.  The Maguindanaons, Tausogs and Maranaos are natives of Maguindanao, Sulu and Lanao del Sur, which are all part of the five-province Muslim autonomous region.

In a phone interview, Sabaani relayed that her group and the Comelec explained to the electorates the election law that prohibits multiple registration. “If you are already registered in Metro Manila, you can no longer register in ARMM,” she said while explaining that the electoral office is continuously accepting registrants.

Sabaani said that with the assistance of Jimenez and Leo Lim, an information officer of the Comelec’s EID department, they explained the details of the continuing registration process by walking the electorates through the filling up of registration forms.

Culiat village chieftain Jaime Garcia, who welcomed the consultation participants, called upon the Muslim electorates in his village to “be responsible in exercising your right to suffrage,” emphasizing further “that your participation in a democratic exercise, such as election, is a manifestation of you freedom.”

Sabaani, a Tausog native, stressed to her fellow Islam believers “the need for us to register as a requisite for us to be able to exercise our right to suffrage.”

“It doesn’t really matter, as far as registration of voters is concern, whether elections in ARMM will push thru as scheduled in August or not,” the C-Care chair said even as she warned the public against dual or multiple registration.

“If you are registered in Culiat, you should no longer file a registration in ARMM, or, if you are already registered in ARMM, you should not register again in Culiat to prevent double registration, since this is against the law,” Sabaani said. 

Jimenez said that the voters’ registration in ARMM will be held this coming March 21 to 31, while in all other areas nationwide will be on April 1 to October 31.

“The Comelec will begin its nationwide drive to inform the public on the upcoming voters’ registration. We urge them to be on the lookout for voter education activities that will be conducted in their areas,” he said.

Jimenez also urged the public to visit the Comelec’s website and its Education and Information Department’s blog at for updates and related information.

He reported that the poll body has already activated the "COMELEC TV Channel YouTube" and can be accessed on this URL:, which features voter's education and information videos.

“It will also feature a web news program that will deliver a round-up of the most recent Comelec-related news as well as video-clips of Comelec field officials at work,” he said.

Jimenez said that the public forum for Muslim voters at the Salam Mosque Compound in Culiat, was in preparation for the 10-day voters registration.

Another forum will be conducted Monday at the Legislative Wing of the Quezon City Hall.

The postponement of ARMM polls is being pushed to give way to a synchronized election in 2013.  It will also give the President a chance to appoint caretakers in those provinces.  (Romy Elusfa)

Friday, February 25, 2011

COMELEC to Congress: Decide early on ARMM polls postponement

Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr.
Saying it is doing a delicate balancing act, the Commission on Elections appealed to Congress Monday to decide early on whether to postpone the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao scheduled for Aug. 8.

In a radio interview, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they stand either to waste some P2 billion in preparations for an election that will be postponed, or scramble at the last minute for an election that will turn out to proceed as scheduled.

"Siguro mapapakiusapan ni Presidente and I hope mapapakiusapan ang leadership ng House na ma-postpone. Ang hingi lang namin bilisan nang kaunti. Ang Senate is another issue. Tingnan natin kung mabibilisan nila ang pag-postpone," Brillantes told radio dwIZ.

(Perhaps President Benigno Aquino III can persuade the House of Representatives to act early to decide whether to postpone the ARMM polls. We only ask that the process be accelerated. The Senate is another issue. We hope to see the moves to postpone the elections move quicker.)

He cited concerns raised earlier by some lawmakers and officials involved in the peace process that holding the ARMM elections now may negatively affect the negotiations.

Brillantes said peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front may touch on the possible expansion of the ARMM.

A conflict may arise if the negotiations lead to changes in the areas covered by the ARMM, but only officials of provinces covered by the present ARMM are elected if the elections push through as originally scheduled on Aug. 8.

Included in the ARMM are the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the Islamic City of Marawi.

House bill

At the House of Representatives, Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian. Balindong filed House Bill 3542 that seeks to reschedule the ARMM polls to coincide with the May 2013 mid-term elections.

"There is a chance the area covered by the ARMM may expand because of the peace process. Some sectors have thus proposed that we postpone the ARMM elections and synchronize it with the May 2013 elections. In the meantime, the terms of the incumbent ARMM officials can be extended," Brillantes said in Filipino.

Brillantes said he made a courtesy call on Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile last week, where he asked the Senate to decide early whether to postpone the ARMM elections.

"Pinakiusapan ko lang magkaroon ng postponement sa House, pakiusap namin sa Comelec bilisan lang sa Senado para di tayo mabitin sa preparation. Kung gagastos na tayo, gagastos tayo sa preparation. Pag na-postpone at tumagal ang postponement, baka malaki na rin ang nagastos natin sa preparation. Gusto natin maaga ang announcement na ma-postpone na para di gumastos masyado at ma-minimize natin ang gastos," he said.

(After I asked the House leadership to make its decision early, I asked the Senate to do the same so we can prepare well. If we are to spend for the preparations, we should do so wisely. We need the announcement to come early so we will not waste funds)," he said.

He said Enrile did not make any commitment but will monitor developments on the debates on the matter at the House of Representatives.

"Di siya nag-commit sa akin. Pero sabi niya tingnan natin pag may postponement sa House and it will go up the Senate, pakikiusapan niya na bilisan ang decision kasi kailangan namin malaman (He made no commitment but said that if the House decides to postpone the elections and the issue goes up to the Senate he will fast-track the decision)," he said.

P2B for ARMM polls preparation

In the same radio interview, Brillantes said the Comelec has set aside P2 billion for the ARMM elections. For now, he said it has spent nearly P50 million for the Aug. 8 polls.

"We don’t want to pay millions, billions ang gastos dito. We’re preparing P2 billion ang gastos sa ARMM elections (We don’t want to pay billions. We are preparing P2 billion for the ARMM elections)," he said.

He said the bulk of the P2 billion may go to buying some 5,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines worth P135 million, and their software and other “consumables."

Brillantes said they will likely buy the PCOS machines from Smartmatic, saying that when the Comelec leased 82,000 machines for the 2010 elections, it had the right to exercise an option to purchase.

He said the PCOS machines will cost only about 30 percent of the cost. — RSJ, GMA News

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