< All Topics

A. Suffrage

1. Qualification and disqualification of voters

a. QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS

Every citizen of the Philippines, not otherwise disqualified by law, eighteen years of age or over, who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election, may be registered as a voter. (Section 117, B.P. Blg. 881, Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines)

Any person who transfers residence to another city, municipality or country solely by reason of his occupation; profession; employment in private or public service; educational activities; work in military or naval reservations; service in the army, navy or air force; the constabulary or national police force; or confinement or detention in government institutions in accordance with law, shall be deemed not to have lost his original residence. (Paragraph 2, Section 117, Ibid.)

b. DISQUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS

The following shall be disqualified from voting:

1) Any person who has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer imprisonment for not less than one year, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or granted amnesty: Provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this paragraph shall automatically reacquire the right to vote upon expiration of five years after service of sentence.

2) Any person who has been adjudged by final judgment by competent court or tribunal of having committed any crime involving disloyalty to the duly constituted government such as rebellion, sedition, violation of the anti-subversion and firearms laws, or any crime against national security, unless restored to his full civil and political rights in accordance with law: Provided, That he shall regain his right to vote automatically upon expiration of five years after service of sentence.

3) Insane or incompetent persons as declared by competent authority.

2. Registration and deactivation of voters

a. OBLIGATION TO REGISTER

It shall be the obligation of every citizen qualified to vote to register and cast his vote. (Section 4, Ibid.)

3. Inclusion and exclusion proceedings

a. PETITION FOR INCLUSION OF VOTERS IN THE LIST

Any person whose application for registration has been disapproved by the board of election inspectors or whose name has been stricken out from the list may apply, within twenty days after the last registration day, to the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court, for an order directing the board of election inspectors to include or reinstate his name in the list, together with the certificate of the board of election inspectors regarding his case and proof of service of notice of his petition upon a member of the board of election inspectors with indication of the time, place, and court before which the petition is to be heard. (Section 139, Ibid.)

b. PETITION FOR EXCLUSIONO OF VOTERS FROM THE LIST

Any registered voter in a city or municipality may apply at any time except during the period beginning with the twenty-first day after the last registration day of any election up to and including election day with the proper municipal or metropolitan trial court, for the exclusion of a voter from the list, giving the name and residence of the latter, the precinct in which he is registered, and the grounds for the challenge. The petition shall be sworn to and accompanied by proof of notice to the board of election inspectors concerned, if the same is duly constituted, and to the challenged voters. (Section 142, Ibid.)

4. Local and overseas absentee voting

a. CONCEPTS

Absentee Voting – refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise their right to vote. (Section 3[a], R.A. 9189, The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003)

Overseas Absentee Voter – refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is qualified to register and vote under this Act, not otherwise disqualified by law, who is abroad on the day of elections. (Section 3[f], Ibid.)

1) Coverage

All citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections, may vote for president, vice-president, senators and party-list representatives. (Section 4, Ibid.)

2) Disqualifications

The following shall be disqualified from voting under R.A. 9189:

1) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws;

2) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country;

3) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those who have committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code, such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty; Provided, however, That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence; Provided, further, That the Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments;

4) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless he/she executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be the cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia.

5) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies, consulates or foreign service establishments concerned, unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or incompetent. (Section 5, Ibid.)

5. Detainee voting

a. CONCEPT

Detaine voters can only vote for national candidates namely, candidates for President, Vice-President, Senators and Parties and Organization unuder the Party-List System of Representatives and not for the other positions. (COMELEC Resolution No. 10112, En Banc, 03 May 2016 citing Aguinaldo v. New Bilibid Prison (Bureau of Customs), G.R. No. 221201, 19 April 2016)

Next B. Political parties
Table of Contents