SC asked to declare unconstitutional provision in Overseas Voters Act

SC asked to declare unconstitutional provision in Overseas Voters Act

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) was asked on Monday to declare unconstitutional a provision in the Overseas Voters Act.

Loida Nicolas Lewis, together with her legal counsel Atty. Ray Paolo Santiago, filed the petition for certiorari before the SC questioning the provision in Republic Act No. 9189, or the “Overseas Voters Act”, as amended by RA 10590, prohibiting partisan activity abroad during the voting period.

Lewis is Chair of the US Pinoys for Good Governance while Santiago is the Executive Director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center Secretary General, Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism.

The petitioner asked the SC to declare unconstitutional Section 36 of RA 9189 arguing that they cannot anymore campaign since April 9, 2016 for the May 9, 2016 elections.

She said that they already scheduled campaign sorties in Chicago, United States; Milan, Italy; New York, United States and Malta, but which were cancelled because of the resolution of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prohibiting any partisan activity outside the Philippines from April 9, 2016 to May 9, 2016.

The petitioner also asked the SC to immediately issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction against the order of the Comelec and the provision of the Overseas Voters Act prohibiting the Filipinos abroad from engaging in partisan activity. PNA/