Mon, 27 Mar 2023

CEBU CITY - Cebu City government officials on Thursday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend for another 30 days the voters' registration to allow more village folks to register or transfer their registration.

However, lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-7 regional director, said requests for extension are best addressed to the Comelec en banc and should have good reasons.

"Depende ra gyud sa en banc if mo grant. Sila raman maka-extend. As to resources naa paman pud (It really depends on the en banc if they would grant it. They are the only authority that can extend it. As to resources for the extended registration, we still have it)," Castillano told the Philippine News Agency.

Castillano's remarks came after officials from the Cebu City Council raised on Wednesday the concern in this capital city's voters who may have to register for the barangay elections.

The last day of voters' registration was on Tuesday, Jan.31.

The council said Comelec should allow at least a 30-day extension to accommodate village folks who are new registrants or who would want to transfer their name to another barangay.

Castillano said there are residents who are yet to register. "Ang dugay nahuman beyond 7 p.m. sa tibuok region kay Cebu City's 1st District ug Lapu-Lapu City ra man (The ones that took longer even beyond 7 p.m. insofar as the entire region is concerned is in Cebu City's 1st District and in Lapu-Lapu)".

Mayor Michael Rama supported the council's "request" for an extension of 30 days, saying that the Comelec should recognize his constituents' right to suffrage.

"The primary reason for this is that the right of suffrage is constitutionally protected. If not all of the people can exercise then that is tantamount to infringing their constitutionally-protected right," Rama said.

Cebu City 1st District election officer Marcel Sarno, however, said other areas in the city have fewer people who want to register.

The city has a total of 738,883 registered voters, and 15,325 of them were new registrants who may participate in upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October. (PNA)

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