FOR failing to provide the clean list of registered voters and the list of precincts, five officials of the Commission on Election (Comelec) office in Taguig were the subject of an administrative complaint filed by the city vice mayor Wednesday.
In filing the charges, Taguig City Vice Mayor George Elias said Taguig election officer Marcos Arcadio Lauron, local election office employees Faisal Samundi, Melanie Icaro, and Yolanda Bajar, and Comelec-National Capital Region Director IV Michael Dioneda committed violations of the Omnibus Election Code, the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 6713 for gross misconduct, gross neglect of duty, inefficiency and incompetence, among others.
“By failing to provide the city with a clean list of registered voters, they have cast doubt on the integrity of the city voters database,” Elias said in his complaint filed before the poll body’s main office at Intramuros, Manila.
Aside from Elias, also named as complainants were Western Bicutan Barangay Chairman Danilo Rivera, and former city vice mayor Nicanor Garcia.
The charge sheet said the respondents failed to release Taguig’s Certified Voter’s List (CVL) and Project of Precincts (POP).
“The anomalies consist of failure in the release of the CVL, and the systematic failure to respond to request for issuance of voter’s certification. Unless the city’s voters’ database is cleansed, we fear that legitimate voters will be disenfranchised and may be substituted with illegitimate names,” Elias said.
He noted that the local Comelec office has failed to take action on official requests by certain individuals for a “delisted” voter’s list.
He cited the case of Garcia who wrote a letter to Lauron dated December 10, 2009, requesting for a list of deactivated and deceased voters.
To date, Lauron has yet to respond to the request despite the lapse of the 15-day reply period prescribed in Republic Act 6713.
Rivera, meanwhile, cited the complaints of nine residents who have not been issued voter’s certifications despite the filing of their applications for registrations.
“Instead of accelerating the completion of the CVL, so it appears, respondents Lauron, Samundi, Icaro, and Bajar have resorted to a systematic pattern of delay,” the complainant stated.
The complaint also alleges that Lauron, with help from Samundi, Icaro, and Bajar, executed irregular acts in excluding qualified and properly documented voters from the Comelec data base, while including in the data base persons whose applications are not properly documented or have no record of applications on file.
“In complete disregard and violation of the law and the resolutions, respondent Lauron, without the benefit of a board deliberation and in the absence of the other two members of the ERB, approved at least 14 applications which are without proper voter’s identifications and documentary attachments,” the complaint added.
Elias said they have received reports that there are many double or multiple entries in the Comelec data base for Taguig City in the approved applicants for registration from December 2, 2008 to November 2009.
“Said multiple entries should be expunged as soon as possible… Until the multiple entries are cleansed and the respondents are relieved of their assignment in the Taguig City Comelec Office, the opportunity to replace multiple irregular entries with new names whose claimants would eventually vote as flying voters becomes a distinct possibility,” the complaint said.
In effect, Elias asks the election office to order the release of the Comelec database for Taguig and the conduct and submission of a complete comparative inventory for such database.
Earlier, Elias also formally wrote Comelec chairman Jose Melo, asking the poll body to investigate and take action on the alleged registration of more than 200 enlisted personnel based in Fort Bonifacio, who are non-Taguig residents.
He said the soldiers stipulated the Navy Station, the Marine Barracks, and Army Barracks in Fort Bonifacio as their addresses in their registration forms.
“This indicates that they are there because of their military occupation and tour of duty, and that they, therefore, do not have valid residences in Taguig,” the official said in his letter to the Comelec.
Election rules state that soldiers are domestic absentee voters who can vote only for candidates vying for positions in the national election and not for the local elections.
Last November, Taguig City Mayor Freddie TInga also called on the poll body to investigate and immediately take action on the registration and inclusion of more than 600 centenarians in the city’s official voters’ lists.
Tinga made the appeal following an expose by the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform president and former Akbayan party-list Representative Etta Rosales who revealed about the “curious” record of 691 “centennial” voters, or citizens who are aged more than 100 years old who are allegedly registered and active in Taguig’s Comelec records.
In her exposé, Rosales noted that out of the 691 centennial voters, 624 were all born in 1901; and out of the 624 born in 1901, 621 were all born on January 1, 1901.
Local Comelec officials explained that this might be due to the computer default, where registrants, who failed to write down their actual birth dates, are registered under the computer’s default birth date of January 1, 1901. Others might be due to erroneous encoding. (AH/Sunnex)