Kabataan Partylist petitions SC to extend voters registration

ON the last day of the voter registration period for the upcoming 2013 midterm elections, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, along with several other youth leaders, is set to file a petition for extension of voter registration at the Supreme Court.

The youth partylist is set to file today, at around 11 AM, an urgent petition for certiorari and mandamus, with application for mandatory injunction, praying for the extension of voter registration up to January 12, 2013.

The petition cites Section 8 of the Voter’s Registration Act which states, “The personal filing of application of registration of voters shall be conducted daily in the office of the Election Officer during regular office hours. No registration shall, however, be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty days before a regular election and ninety days before a special election.”

“Despite this provision, Comelec has illegally set the deadline of the voter’s registration on October 31, 2012, pursuant to several resolutions, such as Resolution No. 9168 and Resolution 9269,” said Atty. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist President and general counsel.

“There is existing jurisprudence that proves that setting an October 31 registration deadline is illegal,” Ridon said.

“In 2009, the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Comelec cannot prematurely terminate the continuing registration of voters before the prohibitive period of election registration defined under the law – 120 days before the regular elections,” Ridon explained.

Ridon was referring to the case Palatino v. Comelec (G.R. No. 189868), which declared null and void the setting of the October 31, 2009 deadline for the May 10, 2010 elections, and directed Comelec to extend the voter registration period.

Kabataan Partylist had already sent the Comelec a letter-request to extend the registration of voters and comply with the deadline set by law – the 12th of January 2013 – last Wednesday, Oct. 24.

“However, we feel that Comelec will again act on this request halfheartedly, that is why we seek relief before the high tribunal today,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino said.

“At the core of the issue is every voter’s right to suffrage. Comelec must, at all times, ensure maximum voters’ participation in elections, and not hinder the democratic right to vote by imposing illegal deadlines,” the youth solon ended.

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