Press Release
November 12, 2008


Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today welcomed the call made by the Church-based election watchdog for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to purge the voters' list against flying voters and dead persons as the poll body is gearing for the start of the continuing voters' registration on Dec. 1.

Gordon, co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Election Automation System, said Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) was correct in saying that upgrading the electoral system also includes the registration process to be really effective.

"Ambassador (Tita) De Villa is right.. In order for the automation of our electoral process to ensure a clean, honest and credible elections, the voters' list should be purged first," he said.

De Villa was hopeful that the use of biometric data capturing machine, where the voters' identity will be captured and stored in databases through fingerprints and signatures, will be reviewed as it guarantees an accurate voters' list.

The senator, however, noted that the Comelec has also thought of this as a solution to the problem of the voters' list as it has earmarked P366.56-million in its budget for 2009 for the cleansing of the list through digitized capturing of the voter's biometric and personal data.

"Based on the proposed budget submitted by the Comelec for 2009, the poll body also considers the use of data capturing machines would be effective in cleansing the voters' list," he said.

Gordon reiterated the necessity of immediately approving the General Appropriations Bill of 2009 and the P21-billion supplemental budget requested by the Comelec so it can embark on its preparations.

"The Comelec cannot start on its preparations until the budget is assured. This just means that the proposed General Appropriations bill and the Comelec's supplemental budget have to be approved immediately.

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