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COMELEC Resolution No. 3584
This pertains to the letter of Senator Raul S. Roco dated 25 January 2001 requesting for a two-day additional registration of new voters, which reads:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    "Pursuant to its oversight functions, the Committee on Electoral Reforms, Suffrage and People’s Participation would like to invite you in a public hearing regarding Extension of the Registration of Voters to Accommodate Those Who Were Not Able to Do So Before the Comelec Deadline Last December 27, 2000.

    "The Meeting will be held on Monday, January 29, 2001, 1:00 in the afternoon at Senator Geronima T. Pecson Room, 2nd Floor, Senate of the Philippines, New GSIS Headquarters Building, Pasay City."

On 29 January 2001, Comms. Luzviminda G. Tancangco and Ralph C. Lantion and Consultant Resurreccion Z. Borra submitted Memorandum No. 2001-027 on the Report on the Request for a Two-Day Additional Registration of New Voters Only:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    "Please be advised that the undersigned attended the public hearing called by the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms, Suffrage and People’s Participation presided over by Hon. Sen. Raul Roco, its Committee Chairman to date at the Senate, New GSIS Headquarters Building, Pasay City. The main agenda item is the request by youth organizations to hold additional two days of registration. Thus participating students and civic leaders along with Comelec Representatives were in agreement that it is legally feasible to have a two-day additional registration of voters to be conducted preferably on February 17 and 18, 2001 nationwide. The deadline for the continuing voters registration under R.A. 8189 is December 27, 2000.

    "To address the concern that this may open the flood parts for ‘hakot system’, certain restrictive parameters were discussed. The following guidelines to serve as safeguards against fraudulent applicants:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

      1.  The applicants for the registration shall be 25 years of age or less and will be registering for the first time on May 14, 2001;

      2.  The applicants shall register in their places of residences; and

      3.  The applicants shall present valid identification documents, like school records.
    "Preparatory to the registration days, the following activities are likewise agreed:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
      1.  Submission of the list of students and their addresses immediately prior to the actual registration of the applicants;

      2.  The Comelec field offices will be given the opportunity to verify the voter enumerator’s list or conduct ocular inspection;

      3.  Availability of funds for the purpose; and

      4.  Meetings with student groups to ensure orderly and honest conduct of the registration and drum up interest to register among the new voters.
    "The rationale for the additional two-day registration is the renewed political awareness and interest to participate in the political process generated by the recent political events in the country among our youth. Considering that they failed to register on December 27, 2000 deadline, they approved for special registration days.

    "In view of the foregoing, the Commission en banc has to discuss all aspects regarding their request with directives to the Finance Services Department (FSD) to submit certified available funds for the purpose, and for the Deputy Executive Director for Operations (DEDO) for the estimated costs of additional two days of registration.

    "The presence of REDs on January 30 can be used partly for consultations on the practical side and logistical requirements of such additional registration days. The meeting will be set at 1:30 p.m. at the Office of ED."

Later, on 31 January 2001, Executive Director Mamasapunod M. Aguam forwarded the Recommendation of the REDs and Senior Staff of COMELEC on the Request for Two-Day Additional Registration of New Voters:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
    "In a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Electoral Reform, Suffrage and People’s Participation presided over by the Committee Chairman, Hon. Sen. Raul Roco, on January 29, 2001, participating student and civic leaders clamored for a two-day Special Registration of New Voters. Immediately, Hon. Roco made a statement to the media that there will be additional Registration of Voters on February 17 and 18, 2001 nationwide.

    "The consultant of the Commission, Resurreccion Z. Borra, called a consultation meeting among regional heads and representatives and a number of senior staff headed by Executive Director Mamasapunod Aguam in the afternoon of January 30. And except for Director Jose Tolentino, Jr. of the ASD, it was the consensus to disapprove the request for additional registration of voters on the following:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

      A.  Legal Grounds:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
      1.  The law on registration of voters, Republic Act. No. 8189, provides only two (2) systems of registration, general and continuing. The general registration had, in fact, already been conducted in June 1997, and the continuing registration is being put in operation in accordance with Section 8 thereof. There is nothing in R.A. 8189 that speaks of additional or special registration. So granting that Section 29 R.A. 6646 is still in effect, there is no additional or special registration to speak of. With [regard] to the continuing registration, Section 8 of R.A. 8189 is explicit that ‘No registration shall, however, be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election…’;

      2.  Section 35 of R.A. 8189 provides the period to file a petition for exclusion which is anytime except one hundred (100) days prior to a regular election. This provision is intended to secure the voter of his substantive right to be included in the List of Voters. If additional registration of voters has to be conducted, then the period to file a petition for exclusion has also to be adjusted to a later date. And this will constitute a diminution of the right of a voter to be secure in the inclusion of his/her name in the List of Voters within a reasonable period immediately preceding the date of an election.
      B.  Operational Grounds:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
      1.  Election Officers are already on the double time of finalizing the Project of Precincts and precinct maps for the May 14, 2001 Elections. If we conduct additional registration on February 17 and 18, then we will have to publish the names of the new applicants for registration for at least one week before the Election Registration Boards could convene and act on the new applications. Then the EOs will make the encoding, and then the adjustments in the Project of Precincts and in the precinct maps. And only then can they print the Computerized List of Voters, make a comparison of the List of Voters and the Book of Voters, and finally to authenticate the List of Voters and seal the Book of Voters. Simply, we don’t have time left to accomplish all these pre-election activities;

      2.  Corollary to no. 1, the bidding, printing and procurement of the election forms can only be done after the Election Officers have submitted their final Project of Precincts to the Central Office. And it will take time to offer for bid, print, to procure, and to deliver the election forms.
    "In addition, how many of those who were not able to register compared to those who were able to avail the continuing registration. We just conducted the enumeration under the National Precinct Mapping and CVL Verification Project during which prospective registrants were advised to avail of the continuing registration. If as alleged that we lacked in the information campaign, how come a great majority were able to register."
Deliberating on the foregoing memoranda, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to deny the request to conduct a two-day additional registration of new voters on February 17 and 18, 2001.

Let the Executive Director implement this resolution.



(Sgd.) RUFINO S.B. JAVIER, Acting Chairman
(Sgd.) LUZVIMINDA G. TANCANGCO, Commissioner
(Sgd.) RALPH C. LANTION, Commissioner
(Sgd.) MEHOL K. SADAIN, Commissioner
Promulgated: 08 February 2001.
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