Senior Citizen Casts Vote by Mail in Tokyo

The Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG) in Tokyo received by mail the ballot of Jesusa Sison Endo.

Seventy-eight years old Jesusa Marquita Sison Endo is so far the oldest overseas voter in Tokyo to have cast her vote for the 2016 National Elections. Senior citizen Jesusa cast her vote by postal voting on 21 April 2016.

Prior to casting her vote by mail, Jesusa came to the Philippine Embassy on 19 April 2016 to inquire about her ballot because she learned from friends that they have already received their ballots by mail. On her visit to the Embassy, the Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG) in Tokyo confirmed to Jesusa that her ballot was already released by mail to her declared contact address and advised her to wait for the electoral mail to arrive at her mailbox.

When interviewed over the telephone, Jesusa proudly said, “I am a Filipino. I love the Philippines and I care for my country. It is my duty to exercise my right to vote. I use my ballot for the needed change I want for my country.” Despite being away from the Philippines for over four decades now, Jesusa remained a Filipino. She is a permanent resident in Japan.

Jesusa was only in her early 30s when she arrived in Japan in 1972 and worked for more than two years with the Philippine Reparation Mission headed by then Gen. Eulogio Balao. After her marriage, Jesusa joined her Japanese husband Tetsuya Endo in his overseas postings who was then working for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Bangkok (1977-1979), Singapore (1985-1988), and Nairobi (1992-1999).

Now both senior citizens, Jesusa and her husband are living in Tokyo. Jesusa is currently doing voluntary work at her Church. She said that she always reminded the young generation of Filipino descent to use “mano po” as a sign of respect for elders. In comparison with the youth today, Jesusa shared to them that children during her time join the dinner table “to be seen and not be heard” by the elders.

When asked for wisdom, Jesusa challenged the youth voters to know the candidates better and choose those who can do good for the country. She urged the voters to show some concern and help bring the needed change for the Philippines through their ballots.

This is Jesusa’s second time as an overseas voter. She participated in the 2013 National Elections. Jesusa was born in Cabanatuan City and raised in Manila before she moved to Tokyo in 1972.

For the 2016 National elections, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is implementing the Automated Election System (AES) allowing the 19,230 registered overseas voters to cast their votes either by postal or personal voting.