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Comelec pressed on absentee voting for media

Posted on: July 22, 2009

Comelec pressed on absentee voting for media
July 21, 2009 17:33:00
Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should submit to lawmakers a resolution allowing members of media to avail of absentee voting in order to speed up the passage of an enabling law, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on suffrage said.

“I said Comelec should do it by the shortest possible resolution to authorize the media for local absentee voting. This resolution is something that the House and Senate committees on suffrage can adopt. I volunteer myself to file the bill at the House and hopefully, we can have it approved in the plenary before the 2010 elections,” said Makati Representative Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Locsin, a newspaper publisher and former television host, said absentee voting should be available to accredited journalists and auxiliary personnel such as broadcast engineers.

“When you divorce from voting process for several times, soon you do not care to vote anymore. We want everyone to have a say who will lead the country,” he said.

Locsin said his committee would do away with technical working group meetings to avoid delays in the passage of the law that would make absentee voting available to members of media.

The Makati lawmaker met with Comelec officials and media representatives on the planned law on Tuesday.

“We will draft the resolution but I believe there is still need for legislation to back up things like in 2007, when legislation was passed to allow government officials and army personnel to vote ahead of the elections. We will meet at the en banc for this resolution,” Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said.

The Comelec will host more consultations as it drafts the resolution, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

Under a proposed framework, media organizations must inform the Comelec of the number of its personnel who want to avail of absentee voting, he said.

Under present laws, only police and military personnel on election duty can avail of absentee voting.

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