Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau
KUWAIT – Around 280 registered Filipino overseas voters were not able to vote after they failed to find their names on the certified list of voters.
Gerry Punzalan is one of them. He said he was with his wife when they registered. They even checked with the embassy just last year. Punzalan’s wife was able to vote.
“Tinawagan nila ako, pumunta ako sa embassy. Nakuha ko ang aking voter’s ID. Ngayon, nagtataka ako bakit hindi ako makakaboto?” he said.
Punzalan is disappointment with the Commission on Elections and the embassy.
“Syempre, malungkot at the same time disappointed,” he said.
Like Punzalan, Frederick Acampado also failed to vote after he could not find his name on the voters’ list.
“Naka register ako sa mobile registration nila sa Salmiya Church. Nakakalungkot kasi parang disenfranchised ka,” he said.
The embassy, for its part, acted on the complaints by submitting a two-page petition to the Comelec.
“We’re gonna send them also a copy of the petition and this is going to be sent to overseas voting committee,” said Consul General Raul Dado.
Both Punzalan and Acampado hope that the Comelec and the embassy will resolve the issue. They fear that their names would be used after the poll body’s website was hacked.
“Binigyan ako ng papel, sinulat ang pangalan ko tapos sinabi sa akin ipapadala raw nila sa Comelec tapos within one to two weeks tatawagan ako. What for? Tatawagan ako, makakaboto ba ako? Hindi rin clear kung ano ang mangyayari,” said Acampado.
Punzalan added, “Sana magawan nila ng paraan kasi as far as i know, hindi lang ako ang taong hindi makakaboto. Marami akong nakilala na ganun din ang situation.”
There are now more than 4,000 out of the 58,524 registered overseas voters in Kuwait who were able to vote for the 2016 national elections.
“Sa voters ng Kuwait, mas maganda as soon as possible, you can come here to the embassy para ma check iyong mga names ninyo. If in case wala yong pangalan ninyo sa listahan, we still have time to request the Comelec to give us guidelines on what to do or to give us information on your status kung bakit wala iyong names nyo sa voting list that was sent to us by Comelec,” Dado said.