By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Senior Citizen partylist Rep. Francisco G. Datol warned Wednesday against the possible “systematic disenfranchisement” of senior citizens in the May 13 polls.
He asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure that all senior citizens could cast their votes on Election Day.
“The elderly are vulnerable to deliberate efforts to cause them not to vote or keep them from finding their precincts, so the burden of thwarting such orchestrated efforts is on the Comelec and its citizen’s arms,” Datol, vice chairman of the House Committee on Senior Citizens Affairs, said in a statement.
He cautioned that some politicians and their cohorts may resort to systematic disenfranchisement of senior citizens on May 13 as among their desperate measures to manipulate the results of the elections.
He said Comelec should ensure that the elderly could vote with ease, citing previous incidents wherein some seniors had to go up and down the stairs.
“Huwag na sanang pahirapan ang seniors sa May 13. Kung ang regular na presinto nila naroon pa sa itaas na palapag, sa ground floor lang dapat sila at dalhin na lang sa kanila ang mga balota na naka-assign para sa seniors. Hinimok ko ang Comelec na gawin ito para madali makaboto ang seniors,” Datol, a member of the House Committee on Electoral Suffrage, said.
“In the past, there were still some seniors who had to go up and down stairs, while others got lost and were unable to vote,” he said.
He expressed hope that the Comelec Resolution 10486, which provides the smooth voting for seniors, PWDs, and heavily pregnant women will be implemented “consistently” nationwide.
Datol said Comelec can easily identify senior registered voters, using its computerized database.
“A special list of senior voters can be generated and printed out, so seniors can find their special precinct which should be at the most conveniently accessible rooms in a school or designated shopping mall,” he said.
He even explained that seniors can vote in their regular precinct, if they want to.
“Pero mas mabuti na basta senior diretso agad sa pinakamadaling puntahan na presinto at alagaan sila nang mabuti. Kung mainit ang panahon, dapat mayroong tubig at first aid team na agad makaka-responde. El Niño summer pa naman ngayon,” Datol said.