May 10, 2010
11:46am – Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino expressed alarm over reports that possibly 250,000 first time voters who registered during the voter registration extension period would be disenfranchised.
Palatino said that the Kabataan headquarters and central monitoring station have so far received reports from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Baguio, Samar and Pampanga from new voters who are complaining that their names are not included in the Commission on Elections’ master lists in polling centers.
“This is what we have been bringing to the Comelec’s attention even months before and now our fears are being actualized. The Comelec has regarded them (late registrants) from the start as ‘supplement voters’ and now, despite their persistence amid all chaos marring election day, they say that local Comelec officials are not even assuring them that they could still vote,” Palatino said.
He added that some complainants also reported that they were told to ‘come back after 6:00pm if there are still ballots available for them.’
“That is absurd. Para ba silang ‘least priority’ when they have every right to vote as any other registered voter,” Palatino.
Last December, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision granted Kabataan Partylist’s petition to extend voter registration period after the Comelec arbitrarily shortened it. The Constitution mandates that continuing registration must be held up to January 9, 2010 in accordance with the Voter’s Registration Act.
According to Comelec data, around 250,000 first-time-voters availed of the voter registration extension.
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino