You are on page 1of 1


Akbayan-Youth seek to direct the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a special

registration before the 14 May 2001 General Elections, of new voters ages 18 to 21. According to
petitioners, around four million youth failed to register on or before the 27 December 2000 deadline set by
the COMELEC under RA 8189. Acting on the clamor of the students and civic leaders, Senator Raul Roco,
Chairman of the Committee on Electoral Reforms, Suffrage, and Peoples Participation, through a Letter
dated 25 January 2001, invited the COMELEC to a public hearing for the purpose of discussing the
extension of the registration of voters to accommodate those who were not able to register before the
COMELEC deadline. Subsequent to a public hearing and on 29 January 2001, Commissioners Tancangco
and Lantion submitted Memorandum 2001-027 on the Report on the Request for a Two-day Additional
Registration of New Voters Only. On 8 February 2001, the COMELEC issued Resolution 3584, which
denied the request to conduct a two-day additional registration of new voters on February 17-18, 2001.
Aggrieved by the denial, petitioners AKBAYAN-Youth, SCAP, UCSC, MASP, KOMPIL II (YOUTH) et al. filed
before this Court the instant Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus, which seeks to set aside and nullify
respondent COMELECs Resolution and/or to declare Section 8 of RA 8189 unconstitutional insofar as said
provision effectively causes the disenfranchisement of petitioners and others similarly situated. Likewise,
petitioners pray for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing COMELEC to conduct a special
registration of new voters and to admit for registration petitioners and other similarly situated young
Filipinos to qualify them to vote in the 14 May 2001 General Elections.

Whether the COMELEC may be directed, through mandamus, to hold a registration of new voters
for the 14 May 2001 General Elections on 17-18 February 2001

No. In a representative democracy, the right of suffrage, although accorded a prime niche in the hierarchy of rights
embodied in the fundamental law, ought to be exercised within the proper bounds and framework of the Constitution
and must properly yield to pertinent laws skillfully enacted by the Legislature, which statutes for all intents and
purposes, are crafted to effectively insulate such so cherished right from ravishment and preserve the democratic
institutions our people have, for so long, guarded against the