Canvassing of votes to be observed by foreigners

Canvassing of votes to be observed by foreigners

A total of 104 foreign observers are in the country to monitor the national and local polls on Monday, May 9.

Beforehand, a seminar was conducted for the visitors. Commission on Elections (Comelec) senior commissioner Christian Robert Lim and Chairman Juan Andres Bautista were invited as guest speakers in the seminar. Chairperson Henrietta de Villa of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) also joined Lim and Bautista in the event.

Almost half of the visitors came from countries like Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Nepal, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea. The other half are members of the embassies and international organizations based in the country.

“They want to learn more about our automated elections,” Bautista said.

Bautista added, “PH becoming the one of the leaders in automated elections, instead of us learning from them, it is the other way around we are sharing our international best practices -- especially those looking to transform from manual to automated (polls).”

Comelec reminded the foreign observers to be non-partisan and to refrain aiding any candidate or political party in accordance to Comelec Resolution 10079 which states:

“It shall be unlawful for any foreigner, foreign group, organization, committee or association to engage in partisan political activities, which refer to acts designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to public office.”

Violators will face a penalty of one to six years imprisonment and deportation after the prison term has been served.

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