MP COMELEC urges voters active participation

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MOUNTAIN  PROVINCE  –  Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Ricardo B. Bulintao is urging all registered voters in Mountain Province to actively participate in the upcoming May 13, 2019 Midterm Elections.

“I am hoping for a more elevated dynamic participation of all registered voters in Mountain Province this 2019 election.  Last May 2016 national and local elections, only 66.76% votes or about 74,421 of the total 110,355 votes were cast. This means there were about 35,000 registered voters in Mountain Province who were unable to cast their votes. This figure could mean a lot to the voters/citizens, the candidates, and to everything relative to the exercise of the people’s right to suffrage as well,” Bulintao said.

Suffrage is a right of a citizen to directly participate in the affairs of the government, including voting during elections, as well, as both a duty and obligation granted to every citizen.

Section 1, Article V, entitled “Suffrage” of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that “Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.”

Bulintao remarked that Filipinos are blessed with the right to vote, hence, exercising this right does not only give victory to chosen candidates but is also one way of upholding the political system of the country.

“Though suffrage is an obligation, it is not mandatory. Failure to exercise this people’s right is not punishable by law but it can somehow denote ‘irresponsibility’ on the part of the citizen,” Bulintao added.

While there are plenty of circumstances which could be attributed to the non-participation during the election day, Bulintao believes that for one, majority, if not all of the registered overseas Filipino workers (OFW) voters in Mountain Province are not casting their votes during elections.

Meanwhile, the provincial COMELEC office record shows that as of December 3, 2018, the town of Bauko has still the highest number of registered voters with 22,992. Paracelis comes second with 17,654 registered voters and Bontoc is third with 16,040. The number of registered voters for the other municipalities are (in decreasing order): Tadian (12,854), Natonin (8,049), Sagada (7,861), Sabangan (7,834), Sadanga (6,060), Besao (5,118), and Barlig (4,050)

By IMELDA U SAWI

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