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'No bio, no boto' challenged at SC.

The Kabataan Party-list group Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to declare the No Bio, No Boto policy of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) unconstitutional, saying it would deprive more than three million registered voters without biometrics of their right to participate in the 2016 elections.

In a 32-page petition, Kabataan asked the high court to exercise its power of judicial review to declare unconstitutional the deactivation of registration of voters without biometrics and to stop Comelec from enforcing Republic Act No. 10367 which was passed by Congress in 2012 that provided for mandatory biometrics voter registration.

Kabataan also sought for the nullification of Comelec Resolution Nos. 9721, dated June 26, 2013, 9863, dated April 1, 2014, and 10013, dated Nov. 3, 2015-all related to deactivation of voter registration records for the 2016 elections as directed under RA 10367.

The petitioners, who were assisted by their lawyer Krissy Conti, include Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, party president Marjohara Tucay, National Union of Students of the Philippines president Sarah Elago, Anakbayan chair Vencer Crisostomo and deputy secretary general Einstein Recedes, College Editors Guild of the Philippines president Marc Lino Abila, and League of Filipino Students chair Charisse Banez.

RA 10367 and its implementing regulations are unconstitutional as these impose an unconstitutional, additional substantive requirement imposed on the exercise of suffrage, thus violating Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution, the petitioners said, noting that the 1987 Constitution explicitly states that [n]o literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.

The petitioners also said that voters with active records under RA 8189, the Voters Registration Law of 1996, comprised the bulk of those to be deactivated.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 26, 2015
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