Comelec Eyes ‘Third-Country’ Voting

By Cheryl M. Arcibal

Filipinos come out in droves on April 10 to cast their ballot for OAV.

THE Commission on Elections is planning to allow overseas absentee voters to cast their ballot in countries other than where they are registered.

Vice Consul Alex Vallespin told Hong Kong News on Tuesday that the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong is awaiting the formal and official instructions from the Comelec to implement the order.

“We had at least five would-be voters who came from Qatar, Singapore, and Taiwan who were unable to transfer their registration here in Hong Kong, but with this order, once we get the formal resolution, then we can allow these voters to cast their ballot,” Vallespin told Hong Kong News.

Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr. also confirmed to Hong Kong News that the Comelec en banc had discussed the scheme and might issue a formal resolution this week.

“But, of course, we’ll have to wait for the formal resolution, because some  commissioners might still raise objections,” Tolentino said in a telephone interview.

“If this is allowed by the Comelec, it means that if one is registered as a voter, let’s say, in Hong Kong, and when OAV (overseas absentee voting) is taking place, they are in another country, they would still be allowed to vote in another post or country,” he said.

Tolentino was one of the poll officials who accompanied Commissioner Arthur Lim to observe the  conduct of the first day of overseas absentee voting on April 9 in Hong Kong.

Vallespin, meanwhile, said the Comelec had yet to commit whether to send to Hong Kong replacement of the two vote counting machines that bogged down last week.

As of April 19, the PCG said 14,960 cast their ballot for OAV in Hong Kong. There are 93,049 registered Filipino voters in the city.



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