Comelec: Up to P75 million needed for special elections to replace Rep. Teves
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday said that it would need P70 to P75 million to fund the special elections for the vacated seat of expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr.
According to Comelec chair George Garcia, no supplemental budget has been provided to the poll body for the special elections, which means it would have to rely on its already existing budget.
“We will be needing at least P70 to P75 million. The budget will have to come up from the existing budget of the commission [as] there are no special or supplemental appropriations for this purpose,” said Garcia.
“Until today, we are trying to find the necessary budget in order to finance the necessary elections,” he added.
When asked if it was possible that Comelec would be unable to hold elections due to lack of funding, Garcia responded no, adding that the poll body would find a way to conduct the special voting “at all costs.”
“The Comelec would definitely be able the Comelec at all costs will find a way to conduct this special election,” assured Garcia.
“It’s very difficult to explain to everyone, especially to Congress, if we will not be able to hold the elections simply because of the lack of budget,” he added.
He explained that since Comelec has a fiscal economy, it can come up with solutions in terms of resources.
Meanwhile, Garcia said that Comelec aims to hold the manual special elections by the first week of December, with the filing of the certificates of candidacy scheduled for the last week of September at the earliest, or the first of October at the latest.
This developed after the House of Representatives on August 16 voted to expel Teves from the lower chamber.
Teves has been accused of being the leader and mastermind of the “terrorist group” behind the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, as well as other political killings in the province.
He has since been tagged a terrorist along with 11 others by the Anti-Terror Council.