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ConGen Morales urges Hong Kong-based Pinoys to vote early

01 April 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

Consul General Antonio Morales is urging Filipinos  in Hong Kong to vote early to prevent overcrowding in the closing days of the overseas election for senatorial and party-list posts, scheduled on Apr 13 to May 13 at Bayanihan Centre.

ConGen Morales made the appeal as the Consulate issued an invitation to a meeting at the PCG public area on Sunday, Mar 31, to discuss preparations for the upcoming ballot.

A five-man team from the Commission on Elections on Wednesday began training 30 officers from Philippine diplomatic posts in Hong Kong, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia and the MECO (Manila Economic and Cultural Offices) in Taiwan, on conducting the midterm voting.


The Comelec team consisting of Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and three trainers arrived on Mar 25 in Hong Kong, simultaneously with the trainees from the posts around the region.

Congen Morales said voters usually arrive in trickles during the month-long overseas voting but cram on the last day, creating long queues at Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town.

About 50% of the 87,441 registered voters in Hong Kong are expected to vote.

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“Kapag last day, mahaba ang pila. Kaya ang pakiusap ko, bumoto silang maaga,” Morales said. He said the Consulate will come out with media announcements urging the voters to do so.

He also said the PCG should send emails to the community calling for interested poll watchers to register in the days ahead.

 He made his remarks as he met on Mar 27 with some Filipino community representatives who handed in a petition for a stay in the transfer of Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre to Saudi Arabia.


Congen Morales was joined by Deputy Consul General Germinia Usudan and Consul Roderico Atienza.

The Filcom leaders included Bishop Gerry Vallo of the Global Ministers Association, Eman Villanueva of Bayan Hong Kong-Macau, Dolores Balladores Pelaez of Unifil-Migrante, Sheila Tebia of Gabriela, Merlinda Mercado of Metrobank, and this writer from The SUN.

Meanwhile, Consul Robert Quintin, head of the Consulate’s election committee, has said the full roster of 18 volunteers for Special Board of Election Inspectors, or SBEI, had already been submitted to the Comelec.

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He said the SBEI volunteers, most of whom had served in the 2016 national elections overseas voting, will undergo training on their election duties after the consular staff are done with theirs.

“Mag-e-echo training naman kami. All of these will happen before the VCMs will be finally tested and sealed in preparation for the start of voting on April 13,” Quintin said.


The canvassing of votes will follow immediately on the last day of voting on May 13. Election returns from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China will be canvassed at Bayanihan.

Canvassing of returns from Chinese cities is seen as the most challenging part because voting there is done manually.

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