List of registered voters for Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

By Cielito M. Reganit

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday assured members of the House of Representatives that the final list of registered voters for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) would be ready in time for the filing of certificates of candidacies (COCs)

ON OCT. 1 THIS YEAR.

BRILLANTES MADE THE ASSURANCE DURING DELIBERATIONS OF HIS AGENCY’S PROPOSED 2013 BUDGET BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS.

HE WAS REACTING TO QUERIES FROM ARMM LAWMAKERS WHO EXPRESSED APPREHENSIONS ON THE STATUS OF THE BOOK OF VOTERS IN THE AUTONOMOUS REGION AS NEXT YEAR’S SYNCHRONIZED ELECTIONS WOULD INCLUDE THE ARMM.

THE ELECTION BODY HAD JUST CONCLUDED A 10-DAY SPECIAL GENERAL REGISTRATION OF VOTERS IN ARMM FROM JULY 9 – 18 THIS YEAR TO PURGE THE BOOK OF VOTERS IN THE REGION OF PHANTOM VOTERS AFTER STUDIES FOUND THAT THE VOTER’S LIST WAS GROSSLY BLOATED.

THE REGISTRATION WAS REPORTED BY THE COMELEC AS PEACEFUL AND ORDERLY DESPITE NUMEROUS REPORTS OF OUT-OF-TOWN REGISTRANTS BEING SHUTTLED TO REGISTRATION AREAS AND THE PRESENCE OF MINORS POSING AS ADULTS IN ORDER TO REGISTER.

BRILLANES SAID THE COMELEC DID NOT CHALLENGE THE SUSPICIOUS APPLICANTS TO AVOID DELAY AND PREVENT ANY COMMOTION.

DESPITE THIS, HE SAID THE NEW LIST NOW CONTAINS ONLY ABOUT 1.5 MILLION REGISTRANTS – 200,000 LESS THAN THE 1.7 MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS DURING THE 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

“HOWEVER, UP TO THIS POINT, THOSE WHO FILLED UP REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS WERE CONSIDERED MERELY AS APPLICANTS. WE ARE NOW AMIDST THE PROCESS OF CLEARING THE NEW LIST OF ILLEGAL REGISTRANTS THROUGH THE USE OF BIOMETRICS AND OTHER SYSTEMS,” BRILLANTES SAID.

“WE WILL KNOW IF THEY WERE MULTIPLE REGISTRANTS OR NOT. AS TO MINORS WHO WERE ALLOWED TO FILL UP REGISTRATION FORMS, WE PLACED NOTES ON THEIR FORMS AND WE WILL USE THEM AS EVIDENCE IN THE DELISTING PROCESS,” HE SAID.

“THEY WILL ONLY BE CONSIDERED AS REGISTERED VOTERS ONCE WE FINISH THE DELISTING PROCESS AND WE HOPE TO TRIM DOWN THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE ARMM BY ANOTHER 100,000 THROUGH THIS,” HE SAID.

“THE FINAL LIST OF REGISTERED VOTERS WOULD BE READY BEFORE OCTOBER,” BRILLANTES ASSURED.

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