Comelec allows two watchers inside polling places

January 2, 2010 1:10 am 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Jan. 1 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will only allow candidates and political parties to appoint two watchers per polling place in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections.

Comelec Resolution No. 8739 provides that the appointed watchers of a candidate, political party and citizens' arms may just serve alternately, in every polling place.

It said that the candidates for senator, for member of Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sangguniang Bayan, belonging to the same, party or slate, would have one watcher.

The resolution also said that the duly accredited citizens arms of the Commission was entitled to appoint a watcher in every polling place.

The other civil, professional, business, service, youth, and any other similar organizations, with prior 'authority of the Commission, should be entitled collectively to appoint one watcher in every polling place.

If not all watchers can be accommodated inside the polling places because of limited space, the Comelec said the priority would be for the watchers of the dominant majority and dominant minority parties to be determined by the poll body and the watcher of the citizens' arm, with the latter being given preferential position closest to the BEI (Board of Election Inspector).

Meanwhile, the Comelec said an eligible poll should be a registered voter of the city or municipality comprising the precinct where he/she is assigned;

b) Is of good reputation;

c) Has not been convicted by final judgment of any election offense or of any other crime;

d) Knows how to read and write Pilipino, English or of the prevailing local.dialect; and

e) Is not related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to the chairman or to any other member of the BE1 in the polling place where he seeks appointment as watcher. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb

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