The day that matters-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
COME election day on May 13, one public figure will be missed in the local news scene: the jolly election supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano.
He will be sent out to Bohol where the political rivalries are not as intense as they are in Cebu. In effect, his work will be less stressful. In his stead will be Negros Oriental Election Supervisor Eddie Aba.
So before he could leave Cebu and hie off to Bohol (he actually is looking forward to strolling the beaches of Panglao and drinking tuba, which, he is relieved to note, is sin tax free), the editorial staff of Sun.Star Cebu and Superbalita had him as speaker of our roundtable on the May 2013 elections.
He kept us updated on online campaign regulations, although he was apologetic that he had yet to acquaint himself with pop-ups, banners, buttons and skyscrapers.
The provisions on online campaigning are contained in Comelec Resolution 9615 promulgated only last Jan. 15. He had barely read the resolution yet here he was in the Sun.Star conference room, updating us and himself as well on current election regulations.
He briefed us on the precinct count optical scan (Pcos) machines, ballots and everything else that we should expect to happen on May 13. He jumped ahead to the elections in 2016 and told us about the biometric voters list that will be used in the national elections.
Unlike the voters list that will be used in the 2013 elections where only the names of voters are shown, the 2016 voters list will now bear our pictures. The biometrics capture of voters’ registration will “cleanse 100 percent” the lists of voters long dead, twice or thrice born, or doppelgangers.
We have three years to work on our looks, which by 2016, will have made some adjustments that are either caused by the elements of time or by Belo. Now, the thing is, biometrics capture with precision our fingerprints and signature but not our looks. The good-looking appear ugly and the ugly appear, well, a little uglier.
The biometrics capture is how Comelec gets back at candidates and their lawyers who besiege them with accusations of partiality for their opponents.
Anyway, back to Comelec’s point of putting our pictures in the voters list. At the precinct, the board of election inspectors (BEI) can easily know if you are who you tell them you are by looking at the picture beside your name in the voters list and comparing it with your actual face. If your actual face and the photo on the voters list don’t match, then in all likelihood, the BEI will consider you a flying voter and shoo you out of the voting precinct.
When you go to your precinct on election day, reenact the look when you had your biometrics capture. I’m just getting ahead—2016 being three years away—so you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
It is important that you vote, no matter how flabbergasted you are at your photo in the voters list, because your vote matters to Comelec and to people who care about their city, town, province and country. But 2016 is still a long way off.
Let’s attend to the 2013 elections first. The Commission on Elections begs you to go out and vote. Many intelligent and discerning voters don’t vote because they hate the long queue and the cramp at the voting precinct. Oftentimes, the ones who stay up endure the waiting for monetary consideration.
At the roundtable yesterday, Castillano issued this appeal to those who dislike the inconvenience of voting: “If you sacrifice one day of your life to vote for your candidate, you’ll have three years of good governance.”
That’s Casti for you.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.