Scrapping of Albay polls looms over Mayon explosion

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Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The ash explosion from Mayon Volcano in Albay Tuesday could lead to a postponement or cancellation of the local elections in the province, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.

“[This is an unfortunate] event so we either postpone the elections or cancel it all together depending on the final results,” he told reporters Tuesday when asked what were their contingency plans for such an event.

“If it will affect the congressional or mayoral, we might not be able to proclaim [winners],” Brillantes added.

Disaster authorities reported that five people have been confirmed killed from the ash explosion, while 15 have been rescued from the mountain.

The ash column was seen as high as 500 meters and ash fall was reported over the villages of Muladbucad in Guinobatan town and Oas town in Ligao city.

Brillantes said that he has not yet received reports whether it will affect the conduct of elections there.

“Probably some municipalities at best [but it’s] unlikely the entire Albay province will be affected,” he said.

“But I doubt whether the senatorial [race] will be affected by a few municipalities,” Brillantes said.

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