A worker stockpile ballot boxes at the Commission on Elections office in Manila. File / AFP
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Business and consular services will continue at the two Philippine diplomatic missions in the UAE during the 29-day overseas absentee voting (OAV), beginning April 13, Saturday, in relation to the Manila May 13 general-local elections.
Meanwhile, media accredited to cover the electoral process also have to abide by the “Rules of Conduct” set forth by Manila’s Commission on Elections (Comelec) “pursuant to Section 10 of Resolution No. 10498 (Guidelines for the Media Accreditation in Connection with the Conduct of the Overseas Absentee Voting) as a continuing requirement for accreditation.”
The rules are stipulated in the “Certificate of Accreditation” which accredited reporters and photojournalists had signed upon the receipt of their media badges:
*Not more than three media representatives shall be allowed inside the polling place at any one time.
*Upon entry into the polling places or canvassing area, media representatives shall immediately identify themselves to the Special Ballot Reception and Custody Groups, Special Board of Election Inspectors or Special Board of Canvassers by presenting their media cards.
*Unprofessional activities shall not be tolerated. These are any disruptive behaviour on the conduct of voting, counting, or canvassing such as, but not limited to conducting interviews inside the polling place or canvassing centre; engaging in partisan political activities; any behaviour with the intention of influencing the choice of voters; distributing campaign materials, and any behaviour deemed unlawful.
Excluding volunteers, approximately 81 Manila government men and women assigned at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi (AUHPE) and Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB), plus four staff at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office also in the capital, will be serving as the Comelec-assigned personnel during the OAV.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes in Dubai said the PCGDXB officers and men will be present at the 11 polling precincts from 8am to 9pm every day, except on April 18 and 19, the Christian holidays of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively, “on top of the services” to the other clients of the post.
AUHPE Second Secretary/Consul Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil WhatsApp-ed to Gulf Today: “Tuloy-tuloy po ang trabaho kahit may (work continues even with the) OAV.”
Registered overseas voters at the Philippine Embassy and at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO-AUH) in Al Qubaisa, Abu Dhabi flowed in continually on Thursday, the sixth day of the 30-day overseas voting (OV) for the May 13 Manila mid-term (legislative-general-local) elections.
Similar to their kababayans (countrymen) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Filipinos in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region voted for the senatorial candidates identified with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to partial and unofficial results from the Philippine Embassy (AUHPE) in relation to the 31-day overseas voting for the May 13 Manila midterm elections.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday proclaimed the 12 winners in the Senate race more than a week after the May 13 midterm polls that wiped out the opposition candidates and tightened President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s grip on Congress.
Conditions in Salvadoran prisons have come under greater scrutiny after the government in April released startling photos of hundreds of jailed gang members stripped to underwear and pressed together in formation, drawing strong criticism from human rights groups.
It said there would be no limits on the number of visitors allowed to visit people in their own homes but they must ensure that there is enough space for everyone to keep their distance from each other and make sure there is enough fresh air.
Restrictions will be lifted in three phases, culminating in the curfew completely ending — with the exception of the holy city of Makkah — from June 21, the state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.