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Bantay Karapatan sa Halalan issues tips for a successful Election Day

With just six days to go before Election Day, Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon issued this appeal: "As we move closer to May 9, voters are more prone to threats, intimidation. I would like to call on the security forces to ensure that this problem would be prevented." (Photo from the Facebook account of CHR Tacloban)

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – On Tuesday (May 3), with only six days to go before Election Day, Bantay Karapatan sa Halalan (BKH), a program recently launched by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), issued a list of reminders that could help voters avoid glitches at their polling precincts.

  • Vote early. Voting starts as early as 6 a.m.
  • Bring your kodigo.
  • Police officers, military personnel, and barangay officials (whether elected or appointed) are not allowed inside the polling place.
  • Campaigning is also not allowed on Election Day (and even on May 8).
  • It's first come, first served. No more priority numbers. Voter first to fall in line should be the first to vote.
  • But there are express lanes for persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, heavily pregnant women, and indigenous peoples (IPs).Don't use your cell phone inside the classroom.
  • If you want to complain about a discrepancy between the machine printed receipt and the ballot you filled up, approach the chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors and tell him or her about it. Your complaint will be written down on the minutes of voting. You will then signs a receipt, which will be attached to minutes of voting.

In a statement, CHR Chairman Chito Gascon made an appeal to all those inovlved in the conduct of the elections: "As we move closer to May 9, voters are more prone to threats, intimidation. I would like to call on the security forces to ensure that this problem would be prevented. Also, the threat to life and security of candidates’ increases, hence we would like to remind them again to report to the police immediately on the first sign of threat to their or their supporters’ person."

Lawyer Rona Ann Caritos, acting executive director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), added that the BHK was also waiting for some more developments from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

"We are still waiting for Comelec's final instruction on what will happen next if ballots would run out in a polling place," Caritos said. "Also, we are waiting for the revised instructions on detainee voting because of the recent Supreme Court TRO."

Caritos added that everyone should help out in informing voters on what to expect on Election Day as lack of information or misinformation, especially in the social media sphere, could confuse them.

Max de Mesa, chairman of the Philippine Alliance for Human Rights Advocates, reminded voters not to sell their votes and candidates and their supporters not to buy votes.

"We acknowledge that vote buying and vote selling are realities in Philippine elections," De Mesa said. "Despite this, we would like call on the voters not to sell their votes. Lugi ang botante. Bumoto ng tama. Iboto ang karapatan."

Finally, Gascon said: "The success and credibility of our elections would depend on all us. Everyone needs to help out in ensuring that the will of the people should be the result of our May 9 elections."

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