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The Right of Suffrage (from the Latin word suffragium, meaning "vote") is the right of the people to choose their officials as their representatives, for a definite and fixed periods, to whom they entrust the exercise of the powers of government. This right, as conferred by the constitutional provision, "is not a natural right of the citizens, but a political right intended to enable them to participate in the process of government to assure it derives its powers from the consent of the governed." (Pungutan vs. Abubakar, L-33541, 20 June 1972).

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  • Regular elections are those held regularly over a period of time as mandated by the Constitution:
  1. National Elections
    1. President and Vice-President, every 6 years,
    2. Senators, every 3 years.
  2. Local Elections, for Members of House of Representatives, Party List Representatives and Provincial, City and Municipal Officials, every 3 years.
  3. Barangay Elections, every 3 years, synchronized with the SK elections
  4. ARMM Elections, for Regional Governor, Regional Vice-Governor, and Regional Assemblymen for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), every 3 years
  5. Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections, every 3 years, synchronized with the barangay elections
  • Special elections:
  1. Plebiscite is the name given to a vote of the people expressing their choice for or against a proposed law or enactment submitted to them. In the Philippines, the term is applied to an election at which any proposed amendment to, or revision of, the Constitution is submitted to the people for their ratification.
  2. A referendum is the submission of a law passed by the national or local legislative body to the voting citizens for their ratification or rejection. Power of referendum is the right reserved to the people to adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed by a legislative body, which would become a law without action on the part of the electors.
  3. An initiative is the process whereby the people directly propose and enact laws. Amendments to the Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative.
  4. Recall is a method by which a public officer may be removed from office during his tenure or before the expiration of his term by a vote of the people after registration of a petition signed by a required percentage of the qualified voters.

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