THE Commission on Elections will no longer push through with the proposed mall voting on May 9.
Chairman Andres Bautista announced this yesterday, adding that three commissioners changed their earlier decisions.
“All set na kami. Pero kahapon, dahil sa mga agam-agam, sabi ko pag-usapan muli at nagkabotohan kahapon. Mayroon tatlong commissioner na nagpalit ng isip kung kaya’t ngayon ang boto ay 4-3. The Comelec has decided not to proceed with the mall voting this 2016 elections,” he said.
On March 10, the Comelec en banc voted 6-1 in favor of the proposed mall voting.
Bautista said that a legal question came up regarding the number of days of the transfer of a polling precinct before election day, which the Comelec en banc took up on Tuesday.
“Akala ko po ay tuluy-tuloy na pero may ibang commissioner na sabi nila na kailangan may approval at kailangan inilipat na rin [ang voting precinct] 45 days before [the elections],” Bautista said.
Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Christian Robert Lim had expressed their opposition to mall voting.
“Ang nakalagay sa Omnibus Election Code, 45 days before the election ay ma-approve na ang transfer. Ang sinasabi ng iba kailangan ma-approve at mailipat. Pero paano mo ba ililipat? Eh ‘di ba ililipat mo naman ‘yan sa araw ng halalan mismo,” Bautista argued.
A total of 231,174 Filipinos were slated to cast their votes in designated malls for the May 9 elections.
The Comelec was supposed to tap a total of 80 malls from 10 companies for the pilot project. The number of malls per group and the designated number of registered voters they would accommodate were as follows:
SM Malls - 27 malls; 87,423 voters
Robinsons Malls - 20 malls; 60,486 voters
Ayala Malls - 14 malls; 34,868 voters
Walter Mart - 5 branches; 11,746 voters
Pacific Malls - 3 malls; 11,602 voters
CB Mall - 848 voters
Gaisano Grand Malls - 5 malls; 10,630 voters
Sta. Lucia Mall - 4,272 voters
City Malls - 3 malls;
Fisher Mall - 5,212 voters
Bautista had earlier inked memoranda of agreement with Robinsons Malls and Ayala Malls.
A total of 1,592 precincts—337 clustered ones—would have been involved in the project which was going to cater to 876 PWDs and 28,136 senior citizens.