MANILA, July 15 (PNA) — A poll watchdog has urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to thoroughly study its proposal to allow voting inside shopping malls.
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Chairperson Henrietta de Villa has admitted that they are supportive of the idea but it should be within the confines of the law.
“Kailangang pag-isipang maigi ng Comelec. While it is a good idea, a very creative idea, but they have to work within the confines of the law,” she said.
De Villa noted that PPCRV lawyers are also looking if the law allows voting to be held in a privately-owned venue or area.
“Ang malls ay privately-owned. Eh kung ang mall owner or any of his family would be supporting a candidate, a party, or belonging to a party, eh di syempre makukulayan ang election na gagawin dun, di ba? Isa pa, point out ng laywer namin, ang security sa malls ay private security agencies, hindi pwede,” she said.
The PPCRV head added, “Naisip ko naman na ang Comelec ay may power during election time to deputize anybody or any agency, di ba, kaya pwede I-deputize ang entire mall na sila ang mangangasiwa, although hindi rin natin masasabi ang perception.”
It can be recalled that a mall owner has offered their malls to be a venue for voting in the 2016 polls.
Robinsons Land Corporation president Frederick Go announced that the 42 Robinsons malls are ready to be converted into voting centers for the 2016 elections.
Comelec Chairman Jose Andres Bautista has said that they are looking at the potential project (voting in malls), noting its several advantages.
“It’s a win-win in several aspects. As you know, everybody would like to vote in an air-conditioned place. There will be no power issues in terms of electricity or generators that are on standby…I think the security would be better, it is well lighted…in case there will be lines the voter can go first to a bookstore or have merienda. So we see many advantages in doing this although not everybody will be able to vote in a mall,” he earlier said. (PNA)