Iloilo detainees allowed to vote

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ILOILO CITY: Detained prisoners awaiting final decision by the court are allowed to vote in the synchronized May 9 elections.

City Comelec chief, lawyer Joemar Betita, said that in Iloilo City alone, there are more than 500 voters composed of than 40 female detainees at the city Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) holding center and more than 400 male prisoners detained at the BJMP center in Barangay Ungka in Jaro.

The detainees have yet no final conviction from the court and may participate in the elections despite a temporary restraining order issued against high profile detained prisoners to vote for local candidates.

The order is for detainees to vote for national candidates only from the president, vice president, 12 senators, congressman and partylist representative.

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However, Betita said the commission proposed for manual voting by not using the vote counting machine (VCM) and using a different official ballot.

The Comelec will not allow the disenfranchisement of prisoners participating in the electoral process since they are still considered registered voters of the city.

Similarly, more than 800 detained prisoners awaiting final decision in the province of Iloilo will participate in the elections, including those detained in the municipal jails.

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