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Senators ask Filipinos abroad to vote
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Senators ask Filipinos abroad to vote

April 16 ------ Senators on Monday encouraged Filipinos abroad to exercise their right and participate in overseas absentee voting. Senator Joel Villanueva stressed the importance of taking part in the elections. “In a democracy such as ours, elections are the highest form of political exercise,” said Villanueva, who recalled working with Congress before the passage of the law, allowing Filipinos residing or working in other countries to participate in the Philippine elections.

“Kaya po hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan sa ibang bansa na makilahok sa halalan (That’s why we urge our countrymen to participate in the elections),” the chair of the Senate Committee on Labor said in his statement. “Our government reflects our values and principles as a nation. Let’s exercise our right to vote so that our elected officials shall truly reflect our sentiments as a peopl,” he added.

Reelectionist Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, meanwhile, urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to increase the number of voting precincts for overseas absentee voting to ensure that more migrant Filipinos can vote. He said the usual complaint from Filipinos abroad was that they were not able to vote because poll precincts were “too far”. “Going forward, mas maganda ‘pag mas maraming (it would be better if there more) polling places or precincts for overseas voting,” Angara said. “So maybe in the larger countries with larger Filipino communities we could study the possibility of having more polling places,” he proposed.

For his part, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the Comelec should improve its information campaign about the ongoing overseas voting. “Comelec should put out public pronouncements for the overseas Filipinos to vote. Announce that voting period has started,” Pimentel said in a text message. The overseas absentee voting in 83 countries abroad started last Saturday, April 13. It is scheduled to end on May 13. The Comelec said a total of 1,822,173 registered overseas voters are expected to participate in the overseas voting.

Source: mb.com.ph