The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday said it will file election offense cases against individuals who deliberately commit double registration.
“’Yung makita naming may probable cause, ‘yung talagang nanadya na makikita niyo sa kabilang rehistro, iba pangalan niya, iniba niya nang kaunti ang itsura niya pero pareha ang fingerprint, sasampahan po namin sila na kaso ng election offense,” Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said in an interview over Dobol B TV.
[If we see probable cause, those who cheat and you see in another registration, who changed names, changed appearance but having the same fingerprint, we will file a complaint of election offense.]
Individuals who are guilty of election offense may face six years imprisonment, a fine, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of their right to suffrage and to run for public office, Laudianco said.
During the Comelec en banc session Wednesday, the poll body directed the constitution of Special Election Registration Boards (SERBs) to remove more than 400,000 double or multiple registrants which are identified through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
Laudiangco said the SERBs will conduct hearings in June nationwide to ensure that the double registrants are abated and voters who transferred their registration were already deleted from the list of voters in their previous voting precincts.
The SERBs will also get updates from the civil registrants to remove the names of the deceased individuals from the list of voters and from the courts for the exclusion or inclusion of individuals whose right to suffrage are either forfeited or regranted.
Another SERB hearing will be conducted in July to take a second look at the official list of voters for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in coordination with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections.
According to Comelec data, 91,912,429 voters are registered for the 2023 BSKE. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News