Belmonte: No need for special polls to replace Ignacio Arroyo
BACOLOD CITY—Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he did not see a real need to hold a special election for the congressional seat vacated by the death of Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio Arroyo.
In a telephone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday, Belmonte said that if an election for the representative of Negros Occidental’s fifth district were held three months from now, whoever won would have very little time to serve with the regular elections set in May 2013.
He said that he could just appoint a caretaker to ensure that the fifth district’s projects would be implemented, and that there would be consultations with its mayors on their requirements.
Belmonte added, however, that while he did not believe in holding a special election, he would consult with House leaders on the action to be undertaken.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said opinion was divided evenly between those who wanted a special election and those who believed that it was not necessary.
At any rate, Marañon said, there might not be enough time for a special election with the regular polls scheduled in May next year.
He said Congress would have to declare Arroyo’s position vacant, ask the Commission on Elections to hold the special poll, and set a 45-day election period to include a 15-day campaign period.
Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Melvin Ibañez has indicated an interest in running in a special election. But he said he would first consult the mayors of the fifth district.
On the other hand, both Representative Mercedes Alvarez and Representative Jeffrey Ferrer of the sixth and fourth districts, respectively, said they were willing to serve as caretaker.
Originally posted: 4:20 pm | Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
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