SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan yesterday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend for one week the registration for new voters for the coming 2019 Midterm Elections which ended yesterday.
“Hinihikayat natin ang Comelec na bigyan pa ng isang linggo ang mga Pilipino para makapagrehistro at mabigyan ng pagkakataong magampanan ang kanilang karapatang piliin ang susunod na mga pinuno ng ating bansa,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan cited the calamities that struck the country as primary reason why many new voters weren’t able to register. He said the Comelec should show “humanitarian consideration” to those who failed to register on time due to causes beyond their control.
“Ito ay isang humanitarian act lalo na para sa mga pamayanang nakaranas ng ganap na pagkawasak ng kanilang mga tahanan at kung saan nailagay sa panganib ang kanilang buhay dahil sa mga kalamidad,” he added.
While new voters were given a two-month period to register, Pangilinan said that the information did not reach a wider scope of audience. He advised the Comelec to implement a massive information dissemination using the tri-media and social media to encourage non-registered voters to exercise their constitutional rights to vote.
“Pinakamahalaga sa usaping ito ang karapatan ng bawat taong bumoto. Dapat tiyakin ng Comelec ang pinakamataas na partisipasyon ng mga botante sa halalan,” the lawmaker added.
Earlier, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez insisted that there will be no more extension for registration leading up to the May elections. He reasoned out that they have already given the public enough time since they opened the registration this July.
He added that Comelec has been implementing continuing registration including the list-up last November in 2017.