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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 29, 2011
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Comelec deactivates 30,520 voters
in Bacolod, girds for protest count

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

The Commission on Elections in Bacolod City will be deactivating 30,520 registered voters in the city for failure to vote in the presidential and barangay elections in 2010, Bacolod Election Registrar Mavil Majarucon said yesterday.

Majarucon said the official list of voters who will be deactivated will be released after the Election Registration Board hearing on July 18. The COMELEC will send these voters notices of their deactivation, she said.

Currently, there are about 252,000 registered voters in Bacolod City, she said.

The COMELEC has issued Resolution No. 9149 on the rules and regulations for the resumption of the system of continuing registration of voters and validation of registration records in the non-ARRM areas.

Majarucon said they conducted a briefing yesterday at the government center involving all the stakeholders at the barangay level so they will be fully aware of the requirements during the registration process.

Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, correction of entries in the registration records, reactivation of registration records and inclusion of registration records/ reinstatement of name in the list of voters, will be personally filed beginning May 3, 2011 until October 31, 2012 at the Office of the Election Officer of the local government unit where the applicant resides.

Majarucon said applicants are required to bring their proof of billing and valid identification cards where their current address is indicated, especially if they are transferring within Bacolod.

She said they are going to be strict about the transfer of voters in anticipation of the possible redistricting of Bacolod.

One of the requirements is that applicants must have six months residency before the elections, she added.

Meanwhile, the COMELEC has scheduled a conference on Friday at the Office of the Election Officer in Bacolod involving the election protest filed by former Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella against Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Majarucon said she has served notices to Leonardia, Puentevella, and the City Treasurer yesterday to inform them of the conference set on Friday where matters relative to the mechanics, the date and time of sealing and retrieval of ballot boxes will be discussed.

This is in compliance with the order of the First Division of the Commission based on the verbal instruction of Michael Garcia of the Election Contest and Adjudication Department of COMELEC, she said.

Puentevella had filed an election protest before the COMELEC on May 24, 2010 seeking the annulment of the proclamation of Leonardia citing massive fraud and irregularities in the casting, counting and transmission of votes committed by the Board of Election Inspectors in connivance with the mayor.

Leonardia said the Comelec usually gives all election protests due course but they are extremely confident that the result of the elections will be the same.

Leonardia garnered 93,519 votes while Puentevella got 86,258 votes.

Asked if the case could be resolved before the 2013 elections, Majarucon said this will depend on the ECAD that will facilitate the recount.

City Assessor Maphilindo Polvora has said COMELEC may resolve the case beyond the 2013 elections, considering that, among the election protests filed by losing candidates, Bacolod ranks number 81.

He said they believe the people have accepted the results of the last elections, even the election of President Benigno Aquino III.*CGS

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