By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said registration of overseas voters in the Middle East will continue despite tensions in the region.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they will continue to hold registration in all Philippine embassies and consulates in the region until they receive orders from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“We are still looking to see what’s (going to) happen. What is going to happen to Filipinos there? Are they gonna be taken out, etc? For that, we are really taking the lead of the DFA. When they advise us to move in a certain way, then that’s what we do,” Jimenez added.
Tensions in the region escalated earlier in January following the death of top Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq.
Tehran retaliated by launching missiles that hit two airbases in Iraq which hosts US forces.
The DFA earlier raised Alert Level 4 in Iraq which means mandatory repatriation.
On Dec. 16, 2019, the Comelec resumed the filing period for applicants to become registered overseas voters in connection with the May 2022 elections.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10619, the overseas voter registration will run until Sept. 30, 2021.
All citizens of the Philippines, who are abroad or will be abroad during the 30-day voting period, at least 18 years old, and not disqualified by law may register as overseas voters.
Applications may be filed at any post abroad or at designated registration centers outside the Post or in designated registration centers in the Philippines.
The registration for local voter applicants resumed on Monday. (PNA)