BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections is pushing through with the special election for the fifth district on June 2 to elect a replacement for the late Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo Jr., who died in London four months ago.
Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco said the Comelec en banc reached a consensus on Tuesday to proceed with the special election in the absence of the Supreme Court ruling on a petition that sought to stop it.
He said the Comelec had started preparations and spent P3 million of the P21.6 million allotted for the special election.
“It would be a waste to call it off at this time. It would be a loss on our part not to proceed since we have already spent P3 million for the special election,” Velasco said.
But Velasco added that if the Supreme Court would order them not to hold the election, the Comelec would have to comply.
Velasco, who was in Bacolod City, said the Comelec was just implementing a resolution of the House of Representatives that called for a special election as the 5th congressional district of Negros Occidental had been rendered vacant with the death of Arroyo on January 26.
But Macalintal said the special election should be held 90 days after a congressional seat becomes vacant. Since Arroyo died on January 26, the election should be held on April 25 at the latest and not June 2, which was 100 days later.
But the Comelec maintained that the special election should be held 90 days from the time the House declared a congressional seat vacant.