Comelec ready for special polls to elect Iggy Arroyo’s replacement
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections said Friday it was ready to hold special elections to fill up the vacancy in the House of Representatives left by the death of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.
However, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the House must first formally declare a vacancy before the election body could hold a special election.
“The House needs to declare the seat vacant before the Comelec can do anything,” Jimenez told reporters.
He said the declaration of a vacancy should be made soon because the law provides that congressional vacancies may be filled only if it happens with at least one year or more left before the expiration of the term.
“The cut off is one year before the next elections,” he said.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7166 or the Synchronized Election Act of 1991 provides that in case a permanent vacancy occurs in the House of Representatives at least one year before the expiration of the term, the Comelec shall call and hold a special election to fill the vacancy not earlier than 60 days nor longer than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.
The brother-in-law of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was in his third and last term as a House member.
He represented Negros Occidental’s 5th legislative district, which covers Himamaylan City and the towns of Binalbagan, Hinigaran, Isabela, La Castellana and Moises Padilla.
The Comelec is currently preparing of a special election to be held on February 4 to fill up the seat vacated by Zambales 2nd district Representative Antonio Diaz, who died last August.
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