Senator Imee R Marcos has filed a resolution to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the alleged fraudulent voters registration for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.
“Despite earnest efforts of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to enforce the law, problems pertaining to the so-called flying voters or voters who are registered in multiple precincts, and those who are not bona fide residents of the place where they are registered in, still persist,” the senator stated.
The resolution cited a report on 31 March 2022 saying that the COMELEC detected 892,627 double registrations for the 2022 National and Local Elections. Then COMELEC Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia said that charges will be filed against double or multiple registrants and noted that “good faith” is not a good defense in election cases.
In an online article published by the Philippine Star on May 3, 2023 entitled, “Are Fake Voters invading your barangay like this one?”, massive increases in the number of registered voters in some barangays were reported, far outpacing the projected population growth forecasted by government agencies.
The resolution also cited a particular instance involving Barangay Carmona in Makati City where the number of registered voters and registration applicants surged by 78%, from just 4,718 registered voters during the 2022 elections to 8,415 for the upcoming 2023 Barangay Elections.
Barangay Carmona chairman Joselito M. Salvador attested that there was neither a recent mass migration of new residents into the barangay nor an increase in the territory of the barangay. Thus, the sharp rise in the numbers cannot be accounted.
Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, said “there is an urgent need to revisit existing election laws including the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996 and relevant portions of the Omnibus Election Code in order to decisively address these long-standing issues.”
“We cannot allow these massive fraudulent voter registrations to go unchecked and become a permanent fixture in our electoral system,” the senator said.