Thursday, May 3, 2012


Prepare Detainee Voting, LGUs Urged
By Czarina Nicole Ong
May 2, 2012, 2:47pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday directed local chief executives (LCEs) to comply with the recently-promulgated resolution regarding the guidelines on detainee registration and voting to ensure that detainees still qualified to vote shall be allowed to register and exercise their suffrage as residents.

In his Memorandum Circular No. 2012-66, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said that LCEs, regional directors, and the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao must comply with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 9371, or the “Rules and Regulations on Detainee Registration and Voting in Connection with the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections and Subsequent Elections Thereafter.”

This was agreed upon during a meeting between the DILG and the Comelec’s Committee on Detainee Voting, headed by Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, on March 10.

In her memorandum, Director Esmeralda Amora-Ladra of the Comelec’s Law Department said that detainees are among “certain sectors in our society whose members, though qualified, are effectively deprived of their right to cast their votes.”

She recalled that detainees were previously not allowed to register to vote or transfer their registration records to the place of their confinement, impeding them from participating in the May 2010 elections.

Ladra, however, cited Section 9 of Republic Act No. 8189 stating that persons at least 18 years old, residents of the Philippines for at least a year, and of the place they wish to register in as voters for at least six months, shall be allowed to register.

She added that detainees as well as persons who temporarily live in other places for other reasons such as work should be allowed to register and vote in their temporary residence.

Moreover, through the promulgated resolution, detainees may now enlist in their respective detention centers through satellite registration for the forthcoming 2013 elections.

Meanwhile, detainees who are registered in other areas or prisoners in detention centers without established special polling centers must be escorted to their respective polling places.

Those who are registered in other areas may apply for transfer of registration records to the place of their confinement.

The Committee on Detainee Voting will be working together with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Corrections, Commission on Human Rights, watch groups, and some non-government organizations in safeguarding the detainees’ right to vote.

During the campaign period, candidates shall also be allowed to enter detention centers but must still comply with the rules and regulations provided by the BJMP and Comelec.

To maintain order, the BJMP said that the division of detainee voters will be done by listing together detainee voters belonging to the same district.

In connection with this, the BJMP also said that registered detainee voters that are released as of the last working day of February of the election year will be excluded from the BJMP list.

They will also give the Election Officer an updated list of detainees who are released from the first Monday of March up to the date of the submission of the list.

Special polling places will be established in an area inside the jail spacious enough to accommodate more than 10 people to ensure that voting will be completed while there is still sufficient time to deliver all the accomplished ballots to the different precincts where detainees are registered.

A special precinct will also be established in case there are more than 500 detainee voters.


I am a Responsible and Principled Citizen.

I will educate myself and others about the issues at hand so that my vote is a meaningful and relevant exercise of my right of suffrage.

I pledge to vote for candidates who will abide by the duly constituted rules on campaigning because I understand that those who refuse to obey the law in the little things are not likely to obey the law in the more important things;

I pledge to vote for candidates who, by word and action, renounce violence, coercion, vote-buying, and corruption as means for getting elected;

I pledge to vote for the candidates who listen to their constituents and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of those they seek to represent;

I pledge to vote as my conscience dictates in all elections.

I make these promises freely and upon my honor.

(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)