The Philippines Supreme Court has denied a petition to extend the biometric registration deadline for eligible voters.
The case came about in the last days of the registration period, which ended October 31st, as Commission on Elections (Comelec) registration sites were overwhelmed with voters seeking last-minute registrations. While registration had been open for 17 months, with Comelec campaigning vigorously over the last several months to encourage enrolment, the Commission ultimately couldn’t cope with the late influx of would-be registrants, leaving many theoretically unable to vote in next year’s national election.
In dismissing the case, the court’s magistrates essentially agreed with the Comelec’s argument that the administrative burden of extending the registration period could jeopardize the elections themselves, which are scheduled for early May.
Still, the Kabataan Party-list, which had filed the petition in cooperation with numerous youth groups, still has another petition to be handled by the Supreme Court—this one arguing against the constitutionality of the biometric requirement itself. CNN Philippines reports that the Supreme Court has already filed a temporary restraining order in connection with the biometric registration rule, but it hasn’t yet come to any conclusions about the substance of this second petition.
Source: CNN Philippines
December 7, 2015 – by Alex Perala