Supreme Court rejects petition to extend voters’ registration

The Supreme Court has ruled with finality that voters’ registration for the upcoming national and local elections will no longer be extended.

In a document released to the public, the country’s highest judicial body disclosed that it has denied Kabataan Party-list’s petition to extend the registration period for voters for lack of merit.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had given voters sufficient time to file their applications for registration from May 6, 2014 to October 31, 2015, but these voters failed to do so for causes not attributable to the Comelec,” the document stated.

On October 29, the party-list for the youth sector submitted a 22-page petition asking the high court to extend voters’ registration up to January 8 next year.

Moreover, the the group has also asked the court to nullify Comelec Resolution Nos. 9853 and 9981 that declared October 31 as the last day of registration despite the provisions contained in the Voters’ Registration Act.

According to the group, the law requires the Comelec to accept registrations up to 120 days before a regular election day, and 90 days before special election periods. But the commission’s October 31 deadline is actually 69 days short of what is prescribed in the Act.

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Despite this provision, Comelec has illegally set the deadline of the voter’s registration on October 31, 2015, pursuant to Resolution No. 9853 and Resolution No. 9981,” Rep. Terry Ridon noted.

The chief of the Supreme Court’s public information office, Atty. Theodore Te, said that the law cited by the Ridon does not necessarily indicate when the deadline should actually be set.

RA No. 8189 does not mandate that the period for registration should be up to that time. The Court also agreed with Comelec that it is allowed to lengthen the 120 and 90 day periods of ‘no registration’ on account of administrative necessities and other exigencies,” he said, maintaining the legality of Comelec’s decision.