US Pinoys up in arms over delisting of 245,000 OAVs
MANILA - A US-based civil society group will meet with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to finally get some answers on why it delisted some 245,000 overseas absentee voters (OAV) from the voters' list.
"Yun ang sinasabi namin, bakit ninyo ginawa yun? Di pa sila sumasagot. We've been writing, demanding walang nangyayari pa," Atty. Rodel Rodis, president of the US Pinoys for Good Governance, told ABS-CBNnews.com.
Rodis explained that the Comelec removed the names of the 245,000 overseas absentee voters who failed to vote in the 2007 and 2010 polls.
"When there was an OAV summit in September 2011, nagsabi ang (Comelec) chairman Brillantes na itong 245,000 Filipinos na ito, maaring tanggalin namin dahil di sila bumoto in 2007 and 2010," he said.
According to Rodis, Brillantes assured them that they would put the names in a separate category, but they are still going to be able to vote in the May 2013 polls.
However, they were shocked when the Comelec, last December 2012, announced they will be removing the 245,000 for failure to vote in two consecutive elections.
"Why didn't you just remove them in September 2011 because then, they could register to vote for one year?" Rodis said.
The Overseas Absentee Voting period was from October 31, 2011 to October 31, 2012.
"Why remove them after di na sila makapag register?" He said.
The lawyer said not being able to vote for 2 consecutive elections is not a ground for disqualification because the law only applies to voters in the Philippines.
"Overseas voters are subject to a constitutional provision in the 1987 Philippine constitution. So, the law does not apply," he said.
Rodis and other members of the USP4GG and some Filipino community groups around the world are in Manila for the 2nd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora in Makati City.