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Apr 01st
Home Sections Politics Senator Pimentel Wonders About the “Zero Vote” in Overseas Certificates of Canvass
Senator Pimentel Wonders About the “Zero Vote” in Overseas Certificates of Canvass PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Senator Pimentel's Press Office   
Saturday, 05 June 2010 09:51


By Senator Pimentel's Press Office

All candidates for president and all candidates for vice president got zero.

Thus canvassers said in Congress, as they opened certificates of canvass (COCs) containing Absentee Overseas votes (AOVs) during the second day of actual canvassing at the Batasan Pambansa.

Among the country COCs with zero votes for president and vice president were those from Nepal, Anguilla, Tonga, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Samoa, Congo, Fiji, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mauritius, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia.

Noticing the pattern, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel abruptly cut off Senate Secretary Emma Reyes in mid-sentence while she was reading out a COC, and asked: "I would just like to know why we keep on hearing that there were zero votes for all candidates."

Ms. Reyes replied that it meant that no registered Filipino voter from those countries took the time to vote.

As it turned out, Senator Pimentel, who is Senate minority floor leader, merely wanted to put his observation on record and to inform the public that might be wondering about the "zero votes."

"At least here, we know that the candidates really got zero votes," he said, alluding to a common complaint by losing candidates that they got zero votes in certain areas in the last elections.

Mr. Pimentel requested that Congress should list the countries with zero voter turnouts, so that "we would have legislative discussions either to encourage [those voters] to come or do away with them."


Author’s Note: This press release is based on an article written for the by Mark Dalan Merueñas.

Majority Floor Leader Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who temporarily took over as chairman of the Senate panel, took note of Senator Pimentel's observation and lamented the low turnout among Filipino voters in those countries.

"We spent money sending delegations in this part of the world and yet after two elections already, they have failed to vote," Mr. Zubiri said.


Low AOV Turnout of 26%

The list shows countries with a zero voter turnout in the 2010 national elections. The second column shows the number of registered AOVs in each country. The government said more than 153,000 of the almost 590,000 registered Overseas-Filipino voters from 89 foreign service posts participated in the recently-concluded elections - comprising a voter turnout of 26 percent.

This year's OAV turnout was higher than the 2007 presidential elections' 16 percent, but lower than 2004's 65 percent.

The OAV started on April 10 and lasted for one month, ending a day before elections in the

Except for
Hong Kong and Singapore which used the automated election system, all other Philippine diplomatic posts employed either personal or postal voting.

Zero-vote phenomenon

The phenomenon of candidates getting zero votes had also hounded a number of precinct clusters within the
Philippines, setting up alarm signals about possible cheating and other poll irregularities.

A message recently circulated on the Web claiming that in a number of precincts, certain candidates took virtually all the votes, while their rivals got zero votes.

In Rodriguez town in Rizal, for example, the election results from at least four clustered precincts showed that nearly 100 percent of voters chose the same candidate for each post, zeroing out most other candidates.

A check made by GMANews.TV later revealed that the voters belonging to these precincts were all residents of the Pamayanan ng Tagumpay (Victory Town), a housing settlement for members of Iglesia ni Cristo, a religious organization that openly practices "block voting."—JV, GMANews.TV # # #



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Quote of the Day

Benjamin Franklin said in 1817: In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. But never in his wildest dream did he realize that by 2010, death would be synonymous with taxes~Bobby M. Reyes