REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – About 160,000 overseas Filipinos are at risk of not being allowed to vote in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections because they failed to practice their right to vote in the past.
US Pinoys for Good Governance, along with other Filipino organizations overseas have filed a petition with the Philippine Commission on Elections to oppose the move to disenfranchise these potential voters.
The Comelec has announced that overseas registered voters who failed to vote in the last two consecutive elections are scheduled for deactivation.
Attorney Ted Laguatan, the lead counsel of the various overseas Filipino groups that filed the anti-disenfranchisement petition with the Comelec, said the Comelec has the discretion not to enact the provision.
“[Overseas Filipinos] contribute about $24 billion to the Philippine economy every year, which helps create a better Philippines,” Laguatan explained. “So the Comelec should be given a lot of discretion to not disenfranchise them.”