50,000 minors in ARMM caught trying to register

Posted at 07/17/2012 8:54 PM | Updated as of 07/18/2012 11:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes revealed on Tuesday that around 50,000 minors were caught trying to register as voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

However, Brillantes explained that while their applications have been accepted, their names will not be part of the master list.

He said the Comelec only accepted applicants to avoid any untoward incident in the registration process.

“We will segregate and disallow the registration. We don’t want to create any disorderly behavior inside the precinct so that everything will run smoothly,” Brillantes told ANC’s “Dateline Philippines.”

Brillantes also said due to the limited time allotted for the registration, the Comelec cannot afford to waste time screening applicants at the precincts.

“If we start screening these minors and double registrants as they enter the precinct, this would delay the process. We would rather that we take note of these people as they register and then we will do the final screening after the 10-day registration,” he said.

He added that Comelec officials have been expecting underage applicants, saying they’ve made a computation of about 10,000 minors from each province.

The Comelec chairman also described the ongoing registration as generally peaceful and systematic.

“Very few, isolated cases of disorderly conduct. In the general overview, everything appears to be OK,” he said.

The general voters' registration in the ARMM will end on Wednesday.

So far, Brillantes said around 1 million voters have registered, close to Comelec's estimate of 1.2 million voters.

The registration of voters was initiated after authorities pushed for the annulment of the 1.7 million voters in ARMM. Studies showed that the book of voters in ARMM has discrepancies with the region’s total population. -- With a report from ANC