PDL voter registration granted with SC approval — Comelec

The Commission on Elections on Wednesday said that the voter registration activity for persons deprived of liberty in eight prison facilities across the country was made possible by a Supreme Court decision in August last year that lifted the Temporary Restraining Order to conduct such activities for PDLs.

The Comelec is referring to an en banc decision titled “Atty. Victor Aguinaldo vs. New Bilibid Prison (Bureau of Corrections), Department of Justice, Commission on Elections, et. al” that ruled on Resolution Number 9371, which contains provisions on detainee registration and voting in the 2013 national and local elections.

In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a TRO halting the implementation of Resolution 9371 and, in effect, the system of voter registration and voting of detained individuals. The TRO was lifted last year.

During a kick-off ceremony inside New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on Monday, Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia clarified that those who will be allowed to register and vote are those whose cases are still pending and awaiting judgment:

“We all know that the right to vote is not just for us outside bars, but also for those whose judgment is not final and executory,” Garcia said.

Nearly 5,000 PDLs are expected to register in eight prison facilities on Wednesday and Thursday. Majority of the detainees, around 3,000, are in the New Bilibid Prison.

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