Comelec sets 3rd hearing on deferral of May 2018 Brgy, SK polls in Mindanao
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set its third public hearing on the postponement of the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Mindanao, following the one-year extension of martial law there.
Another public hearing has been scheduled for January 23 at the Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City.
“The consultations are precisely meant to help the Comelec determine whether or not the upcoming elections should be postponed in Mindanao,” said poll spokesperson James Jimenez.
It may be recalled that last December, Congress approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year, or until end of December 2018.
Last week, the Comelec through minute resolution no. 17-0743 scheduled two dates for the public hearings on January 22 in Zamboanga City, and January 29 in Cotabato City.
Specifically, the January 22 schedule would be held at 700 Gov. Carmins Avenue, Zamboanga City, while the January 29 hearing would be held at the Alnor Hotel and Convention Center, Alnor Commercial Center, Cotabato City.
Jimenez said the public hearings will afford all interested parties the equal opportunity to be heard on whether the said elections should be postponed in the region.
“It is crucial for us to verify that the conditions for free and fair elections are present in spite of the persistence of martial law in that part of the country,” he said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, the Comelec may postpone elections in a particular area motu propio if the holding of free, orderly, and honest elections is impossible due to violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, etc. /kga
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