Comelec: No plan to delay 2022 national elections
MANILA, Philippines — There is no plan to suspend the 2022 national elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Monday.
In a televised briefing, Comelec chief Sheriff Abas said the proposal must come from Congress since it involves amendment of the Constitution.
“Actually, naitanong yan ni Rep. [Mikey] Arroyo sa akin nung budget hearing namin last week sa Kongreso. Sa ngayon kasi, wala sa plano namin yung postponement ng 2022 elections,” Abas said.
(That was asked to me by Rep. Arroyo during our budget hearing last week in Congress. Right now, it is not in our plans to postpone the 2022 elections.)
It was Arroyo, House Deputy Majority Leader and Pampanga 2nd district representative who floated the possibility of postponing the 2022 elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sinabi ko nga sa kanya, kung meron man, the proposal will come from the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. Kasi kung titignan mo yung provision ng Constitution, nakalagay doon na ang ating election is second Monday of May,” Abas said.
(I told him that the proposal must come from the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. If you look at the Constitution, it is indicated there that our election is on the second Monday of May.)
“So definite po yung date na yun. Although puwede po gumawa ng batas on the extension but again sabi ko nga, wala sa call ng Comelec yun,” he added.
(That’s a definite date. Although a law can be crafted to extend that date but again, it’s not under Comelec’s call.)
Abas also noted that under the Constitution, terms of incumbent officials will end on June 30.
“So para maamyendahan mo yung provision ng Constitution, kinakailangan pa rin ang proposal manggagaling sa 2/3 votes ng ating mga congressmen at senador. Kahit ganun pa man, magkakahurdle pa rin tayo kasi kakailanganin pa rin ng plebisito,” he said.
(To amend this provision of the Constitution, there has to be a proposal and the 2/3 votes of congressmen and senators. Regardless, there will still be hurdles because there must be a plebiscite.)
Comelec previously said it is eyeing to conduct the 2022 national elections for two to three days should the COVID-19 persist by then.
Malacañang, meanwhile, rejected possibly postponing the elections, saying the Philippines can learn from other countries on how they will conduct the polls despite the ongoing health crisis.
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