April 8, 2022
MIGRANTE International together with other Filipino organizations overseas are utterly dismayed over Comelec’s deliberate move to disenfranchise overseas Filipinos and to discourage us to exercise our right to suffrage. In previous elections, we received our ballots ahead of the starting day of the overseas voting but this time, Comelec will be sending voting ballots in North America only after April 10. “This is totally unacceptable and we believe it’s a deliberate move to deny our Kababayans of their right to vote.” Ms. Dolores Balladares, Secretary General of MIGRANTE International said.
“Even allowing overseas Filipinos to cast their vote in another country is not a solution to the problem because most of our overseas Filipinos are not even allowed to leave their work places especially our domestic workers in the Middle East. So how can Comelec expect our OFWs to vote in other diplomatic posts? This only shows that Comelec is not aware of the condition of our overseas Filipinos. This is obviously a result of lack of public consultations and studies. Ms. Balladares further said.
Ms. Balladares is also calling the attention of the House Committee on Suffrage to investigate Comelec on its failure to conduct overseas voting on time as well as the delayed delivery of voting ballots.
“The delayed actions and preparations by the Philippine Embassies and Consulate in relaying information and coordination with the overseas Filipino community must be further investigated. Comelec, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs must be held responsible for such neglect if proven otherwise.” Balladares stated.
Earlier this week, Overseas Filipinos have sounded the alarm about their possible disenfranchisement due to lack of community consultations and transparency on the part of the Philippine diplomatic posts in the conduct of the overseas voting.
Many of our Kababayans abroad are already frustrated with what is happening in the home country and the continuing lack of attention in addressing the needs of the Filipino people. They are also frustrated with how overseas voting have been conducted in the past elections. We are appealing to our government officials to do their job properly and let us not deny our Kababayans with the hope of a better government. Ms. Balladares, said.