April 17, 2024

The Commission on Elections welcomed the Supreme Court decision to lift the temporary restraining order issued in 2016 against the commission’s move to allow qualified persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) to vote in the national and local polls.

In a statement, Comelec acting spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the ruling would make elections more inclusive.

“In upholding the validity of Resolution 9371, the Supreme Court affirmed Comelec’s commitment to the rule of law, due process, fair play, and equity, and in championing the constitutional right to suffrage of all qualified Filipino citizens. This (is a) triumph of electoral inclusivity, societal equality, and non-discriminatory justice,” he said.

Laudiangco said the decision would allow PDLs to also vote for candidates running for local positions.

“Qualified PDLs will now be allowed to register, as well as vote in the election of national and local elective positions,” he added.

In a nine-page resolution made public on Aug. 26, the tribunal lifted the TRO that prevented the commission from implementing its Resolution 9371.

The resolution covers PDLs confined in jail, formally charged for any crime/s, and awaiting/undergoing trial; or those serving a sentence of imprisonment for less than one year. Also covered are those whose conviction of a crime involving disloyalty to the government, such as rebellion, sedition, violation of the firearms laws, or any crime against national security or for any other crime, is on appeal. – PNA