Biometrics raise voter issues in the Philippines
30 November 2015 10:33 GMT

Groups are crying foul over a biometric registration process in the Philippines that seems set to disenfranchise over 2 million voters.

Senator Loren Legarda said this week that 2.4 million Filipinos would be unable to vote in elections scheduled for next May because they lacked biometric registrations.

In a presentation of the P15.54-billion budget of Comelec, Legarda also said about 6 million were deactivated for failure to vote in the 2013 and 2010 national and local elections.

In a related development, a coalition of opposition groups have challenged the biometrics rule, describing it as unconstitutional in a motion to the Supreme Court.

The petitioners said: “The biometrics validation gravely violates due process as it is an unreasonable deprivation of the constitutional right to vote for millions of Filipinos who have failed to register their biometric information despite existing and active registration – in effect a voter’s re-registration – for various reasons, whether personal or institutional.”

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, however, has defended the policy. “It is what the law says, and it’s what the Comelec is bound to enforce.”