1.3K inmates in Bicol to cast votes in BSKE polls

By Connie Calipay

October 4, 2023, 8:32 pm

<p>Lawyer Conie Del Castillo, Comelec-Legazpi election officer <em>(PNA file photo by Connie Calipay)</em></p>

Lawyer Conie Del Castillo, Comelec-Legazpi election officer (PNA file photo by Connie Calipay)

LEGAZPI CITY – More than 1,300 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in the Bicol Region can exercise their right of suffrage in the coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

In an interview, lawyer Maria Juana Valeza, Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Bicol regional director, said those PDLs who are registered voters would cast their ballots inside jail facilities and detention centers in the region.

"The 1,313 PDLs are from 20 municipalities and cities in the region. Together with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), we are preparing for this event to ensure the smooth and peaceful casting of votes inside the jail facilities," Valeza said.

Conie del Castillo, Comelec-Legazpi election officer, in a separate interview, said at least 186 PDLs in the jail facility here are allowed to vote.

"On election day, a special electoral board will be assigned to the jail facility. Additionally, a support staff will be appointed at each voting center to assist PDL voters in obtaining their ballots from the precinct assignment. Once the PDLs cast their vote, the support staff will bring back the ballots to the precinct," del Castillo said.

She said the support staff who would get the ballots will be escorted by BJMP personnel.

"Since they are registered voters but in a detention facility, they are tagged as PDL voters," del Castillo said.

She said they are now conducting training for the support staff who will assist the PDLs. (PNA)