Armm voters registration starts Monday-A A +A
Sunday, July 8, 2012
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to open Monday the 10-day general registration of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
With this, Comelec Commissioner Elias Yusoph appealed to his fellow Armm natives to take the time between July 9 to 18 and register as voters in order to be able to exercise their rights of suffrage in the midterm polls next year.
“I would like to appeal to our constituents in the Armm to register anew because the existing Books of Voters have already been annulled. And in order to vote, they have to register. Even if you are a qualified voter, if you do not register, you cannot vote,” said Yusoph.
He noted how the general registration would serve as the first step in changing the image of the Armm, especially concerning electoral exercises.
“We have to change the image of Armm because we have been tagged as the ‘Cheating Capital of the Philippines.’ And in order to cleanse it, we have to have credible and transparent Books of Voters of Armm registrants… This is a first of its kind para maipakita natin sa buong Pilipinas na the Armm is not the cheating capital,” said Yusoph.
For his part, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they are pulling out all the stops in preparing for the general registration.
“We are bringing in all our people there because we want to make sure that we secure our people and we secure the machines we bought,” said Brillantes. “We have our own plan on how to make sure that the listing now will be a legitimate listing of the Armm voters.”
Brillantes noted that the commission en banc also decided to appoint commissioners-in-charge (CIC) in each of the five provinces involved in the activity, with Yusoph assigned in Basilan, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento for Tawi-Tawi, Commissioner Armando Velasco in Lanao del Sur, Commissioner Lucenito Tagle in Sulu, and Commissioner Christian Lim for Maguindanao.
Last June, Congress passed a joint resolution annulling all Books of Voters in cities and towns in the Armm and subsequently instructing the Comelec to hold a general registration.
This was after the persistent prodding of President Benigno Aquino III to have a new set of Books of Voters in the Armm as part of the reforms being initiated in the autonomous region.
The Comelec said that any Filipino citizen residing in the Armm; is at least 18 years old on or before May 13, 2013; a resident of the Philippines for at least one year and of the area where he intends to vote for at least six months; and is not disqualified from voting may register in all designated registration centers.
Registration shall begin with the personal appearance before the election officer, stating the name, exact address, and presentation of identification documents such as employee ID, postal ID, students’ ID, driver’s license, NBI/police clearance, senior citizens’ ID, passport, SSS ID, PRC ID, IBP ID, or any other valid IDs.
The Comelec expects the number of registered Armm voters to go down to 1.5 million from the former 1.7 million after the general registration. (HDT/Sunnex)