November 14, 2012 -
As we reported Monday, The Philippine Senate voted 18-0 in favour of Bill 1030, mandating the biometric registration of voters in the country.
Following the passing of this bill, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes released a statement suggesting that eight million Filipinos – or 15 per cent of total voters — will be robbed of their right to vote if Congress passes the bill requiring biometric registration of voters before 2013 elections, gmanetwork.com reports.
Previously the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had said that voters who registered before the biometrics system was first implemented in 2000 could still vote.
“I believe that is a baseless alarmist statement,” Senator Auilino Pimentel III said about Brillantes’ comments, explaining that Bill 1030 will only take effect for the 2016 elections.
“This law, although it may be passed in 2012 or 2013, the practical effects of this law will be really felt and this law is really meant to enhance and improve the 2016 elections because we cannot regulate an act which happened before the passage of the law,” he added.
There does appear to be some confusion regarding this bill however, as gmanetwork.com reports, a check with a copy of Bill 1030 shows SEC. 8 which states that “voters who failed to submit for validation on or before the last day of filing of application for registration purposes of the 2013 national and local elections, despite due notice, shall be deactivated from the registration record of the voters by the Election Registration Board.”
What do you think? Is this confusion and ‘battle of the Bill’ enough to disenfranchise voters from practicing their right to vote in 2013?