Inmates allowed to vote in May polls
SOME 75 inmates of the Baguio City Jail registered for the May 2019 national and local elections.
Attorney John Paul Martin, Commission on Election Baguio Supervisor said persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who have stayed at least six months in jail and have not been convicted have the right to vote.
Martin added a special electoral board will be deployed by the Comelec to conduct the voting on election day and collect all the ballots to be submitted
to the electoral boards in the nearest precinct at Josefa Carino Elementary School.
“We want PDLs to vote even with pending cases, because they are still presumed innocent,” added Martin.
The number of PDL voters decreased to five compared to the 2016 elections, as some have already been released.
“There was a pending case in the Supreme Court contesting the right of PDL to vote for the local position that’s why in 2016 there was a TRO, and because of that, PDL only voted for national positions,” he added.
As of these writing the case in the Supreme Court has yet to be solve. Martin added until such time that the TRO is lifted, PDL will only be allowed to vote for national positions.
“If there will be a decision from the Supreme Court, we will act accordingly depending on the decision,” he said.
In Benguet, some 28 inmates for both La Trinidad Municipal Jail and Provincial Jail have registered for the May 2019 polls.
As of October 25, 2018, Cordillera region registered more than one million voters.
Benguet recorded the largest number of registered voters with 227,033 followed by Abra with 177,058, Baguio City with 164,125, Kalinga with 137,658 followed by Ifugao with 124,289, Mt. Province with 108,512 and Apayao with 74,743 voters.