(Riyadh, 09 April 2016) – The Philippine Embassy successfully started today the first day of automated elections for Overseas Voters (OVs) at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the International Philippine School in Al Khobar. Over 1000 overseas voters cast their votes on the first day of automated elections in Riyadh.
Overseas voting began as scheduled today at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA). Men, women and their families came early at the designated voting venues in Riyadh and in Al Khobar to cast their votes.
Mr. Romel P. Libao, 28 years old, and an OFW from Buraidah, Qassim was the first voter to cast his vote at the Embassy. “Nag-biyahe po ako nang maaga upang makaboto sa unang araw ng eleksyon. Mahalaga po ang bawat boto,” said Mr. Libao.
Buraidah in Qassim is located around 400km north of Riyadh.
Over 1000 overseas voters cast their votes on the first day of automated elections in Riyadh.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ezzedin H. Tago, also cast his vote on the first day of automated elections. He urged all registered Filipino in Saudi Arabia to exercise their right to vote. “I invite all kababayans to come to the Embassy in Riyadh or IPSA in Al Khobar, cast their votes and let their voices be heard. Kasali po tayong lahat dito,” said Ambassador Tago.
Saudi Arabia accounts for 216,662 out of the 1.376 million registered Filipino overseas voters for 2016. There are three voting venues in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has 113,985 registered voters under its Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV) while Jeddah has 68,751 and Al Khobar with 33,926.
The following are important details regarding overseas voting:
A) Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh
B) International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA), Al Khobar, Eastern Province
Who may vote:
Registered overseas voters whose names appear in the CLOV under Riyadh PE; registered seafarers
Registered overseas voters whose names appear in the CLOV under POLO Al Khobar; registered seafarers
Period: 09 April to 09 May 2016 (Daily including weekends and holidays)
Daily schedule: Daily 8:00AM to 5:00PM Weekdays: 12:00NN to 8:00PM
Weekends: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Last day: 09 May 2016 from 8:00AM to 12:00NN*
*Per COMELEC Res. 10087, the requirements:
ANY of the following may be presented to the SBEI:
1)Original PHL passport
3)Any PHL-issued ID
5) Seaman’s book (if seafarer)
- Inspect your voter receipt and drop it in the receipt receptacle. Do not leave voting area with the voter receipt.
- Taking photographs of the ballot or the voter receipt is an election offense.
- CAMPAIGNING INSIDE THE EMBASSY IS PROHIBITED
The Philippine Embassy wishes to remind the voting public that the conduct of any political or partisan campaigning or propaganda for or against any candidate at polling areas at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh or the International Philippine School in Al Khobar within the voting period is strictly prohibited .
The Embassy invites the voting public’s attention to the following provisions under Article X of COMELEC Resolution No. 10052 on election offenses and prohibited acts:
Under Section 261 of Batas Pambansa 881
“k. Unlawful electioneering – It is unlawful to solicit votes or undertake any propaganda on the day…of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters thereof.”
“2) On candidacy and campaign:
f. Any person who solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda, on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling area or within a radius of thirty meters thereof”
The wearing of T-shirts, ballcaps, jackets, wristbands, bandanas or any other campaign-related material or paraphernalia, or, possession of said materials, is strictly prohibited inside the Embassy in Riyadh or the International Philippine School in Al Khobar within the voting period from 09 April to 09 May 2016.
Any person or group who wishes to enter the premises of the Embassy or IPSA, to cast their votes or avail of any services of the Embassy, will only be accommodated once they remove such items from their person, change into other clothes or have the prohibited clothing worn inside out.
Recorded CCTV footage may be submitted to COMELEC by the Embassy if required by law. END