Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BJMP Bicol braces for 1,200 resident-inmate voters in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb 23 (PIA) – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Bicol regional office has reviewed and updated the contingency plans and other security measures to ensure smooth and orderly voting of qualified inmates in the region this coming May 2016 election.

BJMP Bicol director jail senior superintendent Ignacio Sarabia-Panti said at least 1,200 qualified resident-inmates are expected to participate in the coming national and local elections.

The qualified inmate voters were allowed to register, transfer or renew their voter’s registration data later part last year as representatives of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) conducted mobile voter’s registration in various jail facilities in the region.

Of the total 1,200 qualified inmate-voters, 260 are from Albay, 143 from Camarines Norte, 465 Camarines Sur, 90 Catanduanes, 128 Masbate and 118 from Sorsogon.

Panti said this number comprises 42% of the total 3,071 resident inmates in the region. Majority of them are still classified as detention inmates, a condition that qualifies them to vote primarily due to the dictum of “presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”  Thus they are still allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Convicted inmates on the other hand are barred from exercising their right to suffrage.

Moreover, the BJMP chief stressed the need for the inmate to secure court orders as the basic fundamental requirement for going of the facility. The inmate will then be escorted to the designated polling precinct on Election Day.

To avoid the occurrence of unwanted incidents and to ensure smooth, orderly and peaceful voting process, all provincial jail administrators especially the wardens were already directed to review, update and revise contingency plans, implementation plans and other similar security measures.

The bureau chief has also directed the concerned jail officials to explore other possibilities such as coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for force augmentation and support during the crucial period. It can also avert any unwarranted situations that might compromise the security of the public, resident –inmates and the sanctity of the political exercise.

He further reminded concerned jail officials of the existing campaign policy inside jail facilities urging them to give the same opportunity to interested parties and candidates, irrespective of political affiliations, within the allowed visiting hours and with jail rules and regulations respected and followed at all times.(MAL/SAA/BJMP5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571456214499/bjmp-bicol-braces-for-1-200-resident-inmate-voters-in-bicol#sthash.HY8v4tJT.dpuf

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