Comelec reinstates over 238,000 inactive Filipino voters abroad for 2013 polls
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to reinstate on the voters' list 238,557 Filipinos abroad who failed to vote in the 2007 and 2010 polls. 

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday said that after meeting with representatives of the Filipinos abroad, the poll body had decided to reconsider their decision to drop the overseas absentee voters from the list. 

“Sabi nila, ‘ano ang masama kung pagbigyan natin sila?’ So we got back to our original plan na 'yong dadating para bumoto hindi na madi-disenfranchise.  Kasi bumiyahe 'yan tapos dadating doon sasabihan deactivated na sila, hindi maganda,” Brillantes told reporters. 

[They said, 'what's wrong if we would give them a chance?' So we got back to our original plan that those who will arrive at polling centers to vote will no longer be disenfranchised. They travelled far and when they arrive at polling centers they will only to be told that they are already deactivated, that won't be nice.]

Last January, only 29 of the 238,557 absentee voters were ably to comply with the filing of manifestation of intent to vote.  

This prompted the poll body to order through Comelec Resolution 9653 the extension of the period for the filing of manifestation to vote by overseas absentee voters up to the last day of voting or until May 13. 

The voting period for overseas Filipino voters starts one month before May 13, the election day in the Philippines.

There will be enough ballots for overseas Filipinos should they decide to exercise their rights to vote in May, according to Comelec commissioner and Commission on Overseas Absentee Voting chairman Lucenito Tagle. 

Tagle said the Comelec had decided to print 20 percent of the ballots for the 238,557 de-listed voters.

“Based on our studies, not all of the registered voters vote. There are many who don’t so for this elections, we also don’t see all of them voting even here locally,” he said.

 In 2010, only 150,000 of the 580,000 registered Filipino voters abroad had actually voted, accoding to Tagle.  

At the time of the printing of ballots early last month for the 2013 polls, the Comelec listed more than 700,000 overseas absentee voters.