170,000 voters in Region 11 can’t vote in 2016 polls

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Dec) – Some 170,000 voters in the Davao Region who have been cleansed from the database of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 11 will not be able to cast their votes in the 2016 national and local elections after the Supreme Court junked on Wednesday the petition questioning the constitutionality of the poll body’s “No Bio, No Boto” policy for lack of merit.

President Benigno Aquino III signed in 2013 Republic Act 10367 (An act providing for mandatory biometrics voter registration), which prompted the Kabataan Party-List to file a petition before the SC who later issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the measure.

During the AFP-PNP press conference at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oasis on Wednesday, Comelec 11 assistant regional director Marlon Casquejo said that 87,000, or more than half of the deactivated voters, are from Davao City while the rest came from other provinces.

The region has a total of 2,659,766 voters, finalized last December 5, Casquejo said.

Based on the records of the Comelec 11, most of the voters come from Davao City with 873,670 voters, followed by Davao del Norte with 525,343, Compostela Valley with 408,539, Davao del Sur with 373,692, Davao Oriental with 319,971, and Davao Occidental with 158,551.

The poll body has yet to release a list of nuisance candidates.

In Davao City, former Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) as substitute candidate to father Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who filed his COC for president last November 27.

She would run against Alfredo Lamela Tocante and Teodoro Pena Mantilla.

For vice mayor, her brother reelectionist Paolo Z. Duterte is running unopposed.

The Comelec will also implement a gun ban starting January 10, 2016, the beginning of election period, until June 8, 2016. The campaign period for local elections will start on March 25 to May 7, 2016.

Comelec 11 has not yet identified areas of concern here.

But the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 has initially identified two barangays in Davao City and 21 other cities and municipalities under election watch list.

Marilog and Paquibato districts in Davao were placed under category 2 due to their history of “politically motivated armed threats”.

In Davao del Sur, Malita and Malalag towns were placed under category 1, and Bansalan, Sta. Cruz, Padada, Hagonoy, and Kiblawan towns under category 2.

The PRO is yet to classify under what category Digos City belongs.

In Davao del Norte, the towns of New Corella, Kapalong, Talaingod, and San Isidro are under category 2.

Still under category 2 are Mati, Lupon, and Banay-Banay towns in Davao Oriental.

In Compostela Valley, Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Monkayo, Montevista, and Laak towns were placed under category 2.