The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to suspend the holding of the May 9 polls in seven countries covering four Philippine posts that have 127 registered voters.
Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the Commission en banc may decide not to hold overseas voting in the posts in Baghdad for Iraq; Tripoli covering Algeria, Chad, Tunisia, and Libya; Afghanistan for Islamabad, and Ukraine for Warsaw.
“I think we will be declaring a suspension of election in certain areas,” Casquejo, the Commissioner-in-Charge for the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV), said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Casquejo said the voting in Islamabad and Warsaw will be likely suspended because of the mandatory repatriation there.
He said voting is expected not also be held in Baghdad and Tripoli for currently not having overseas voting capabilities.
“The OFOV is still waiting for formal confirmation from the DFA-OVS (Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat) as to the Posts’ capacity to conduct overseas voting for the active registered overseas voters,” he added.
Casquejo said voting will also be temporarily suspended in Shanghai, China, after the imposition of a lockdown due to the increase in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. There are over 1,600 registered voters in the area.
“Once the lockdown is lifted, then we will proceed with the voting in Shanghai,” he added.
The overseas voting will start on April 10 and will run until the election day on May 9 in the Philippines. They will be voting for national candidates only or those running for the positions of president, vice-president, senator, and party-list groups.
Meanwhile, Casquejo said the Comelec en Banc has passed a resolution that will allow Filipinos abroad to vote in Philippine posts other than where they are currently registered.
He said overseas voters, who had to move after the close of the registration period to another country or area under the jurisdiction of another post, can vote if the said post is implementing personal voting.
The voter may file a Manifestation of Intent to Vote in Another Post (MIVAP) to be able to participate in the polls.
The Comelec official also said they will be implementing the two-way postage system for those who will be voting using the postal service.
He added that those using said system will be able to mail back their ballots after they have voted.
Based on Comelec data, there are 1.7 million overseas absentee voters, including 450,282 in Asia Pacific.