Comelec told bending rules for Camarines Sur split is risky
The Senate local government committee has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to state clearly how long it will wait for Congress to approve local bills seeking to divide provinces or creating new districts in some of them.
Senate local government chair Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes has to “clarify” what he meant by the commission willing to wait “until October and then until December” for the local bills pending in his chamber to be passed.
Marcos is seeking the clarification after proponents of the bill dividing Camarines Sur into two provinces announced that the Comelec has expressed willingness to wait until December for the Senate to concur with House Bill No. 4820 creating Nueva Camarines province that would be taken from Camarines Sur.
The senator warned that if the Comelec would make a categorical statement on Camarines Sur, lobbyists for other provinces could come forward and ask for the same.
Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte raised the same warning, adding that third-term congressmen who are seeking new positions to run for in 2013 are behind reports quoting Brillantes.
“I have to clarify with (Brillantes) what he means when he says he could extend the wait for the Senate approval of the local bill (initially) until the end of October, now it became December,” Marcos told reporters in an impromptu news conference.
The senator said Brillantes was also quoted as saying the Comelec would “need a law… specific to Camarines Sur.”
“I don’t know how that’s supposed to be handled… The pronouncements made by Chair Brillantes are not clear,” he said.
House Bill No. 4820 takes away the fourth district of Camarines Sur and names it Nueva Camarines.