Home Headlines Comelec-Bataan stops receiving signatures for PI

Comelec-Bataan stops receiving signatures for PI

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Abucay election officer Maritess Baltazar

BALANGA CITY — The provincial office of the Commission on Elections said Friday that city and municipal election offices in Bataan have stopped receiving signature sheets for the People’s Initiative (PI).

Lawyer Chris Ian Silva, provincial election supervisor, said a Comelec memorandum ordered the election offices in this city and 11 towns to stop accepting the gathered signatures.

Municipal election officers Maritess Baltazar of Abucay and Maribeth Abadecio of Samal said they received the Comelec memo Jan. 29, and since then no materials have been submitted.

Baltazar said the memo suspended all processes related to the PI and did not specify when it will resume. She said that they cannot verify even the submitted signatures unless directed by the poll body.

So far submitted in Abucay were 3,116 signatures out of 28,728 registered voters, she said.

Samal election officer Maribeth Abadecio

“Actually, hindi pa namin na-verify kasi nga lahat ng related sa PI is suspended and then hindi naman once na isinubmit sa amin ang signatures nila ay ive-verify namin.  Dapat, yan may order from Comelec. So, wala pang verification,” Baltazar said.

She reported that the signatures from nine barangays in Abucay were submitted in the afternoon of January 26 or three days before the suspension memo.

Abadecio said they have received more than 3,600 signatures from some of the 14 barangays in Samal also on January 26, and that not all barangays submitted signature sheets.

“Hindi naman kasi kami agad-agad magve-verify hangga’t walang utos ng Manila so bale naka-secured.  Itinabi lang namin ang mga folders na naglalaman ng mga signatures ng mga botante at maghihinay kami ng directive kung ive-verify ang mga ito.” Abadecio said.

Once ordered to verify the signatures submitted, she said they will follow a protocol and sequence of checking the signature like if it tallies with the signature in the record of Comelec.

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