DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos said a total of 31,125 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) will cast their votes during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) tomorrow.
Abalos, who is also a lawyer, said the PDLs’ right to vote and choose their political leaders is a testament to the democratic liberty of a nation as prescribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Rights, and the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
“The right to vote is everyone’s inherent right under the Constitution. As the DILG actively assists the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in ensuring peace and order during the 2023 BSKE, we are elated to confirm that more than 31,000 PDLs will be able to exercise their rights to vote on BSKE 2023,” Abalos said.
Based on Comelec rules, inmates who are formally charged and awaiting trial and those serving prison sentences of less than a year are qualified to vote in the local polls.
The DILG chief also directed Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Director Ruel Rivera to ensure orderly and peaceful voting by the PDLs in their respective designated precincts during election day.
Of the 31,000 PDL voters, 29,133 will vote inside the special polling precincts within BJMP jails, while 1,992 will be escorted by jail officers in their respective registered precincts in barangays.
“The turnout of more registered PDL voters for the BSKE is in itself historic. This underscores the commitment of the DILG and the BJMP to uphold democracy and inclusivity in the electoral process,” Abalos said