Gov assails move to bend rules for CamSur split
Camarines Sur Governor Luis “L-Ray” Villafuerte Jr. has accused the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of laying down the groundwork for a possible division of the province even if the bill that takes away one district to create Nueva Camarines has not yet been signed into law.
In a letter to the Comelec and copies of which were sent to senators, Villafuerte cried foul after reading a copy of Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes’ October 9 letter to Senate local government chair Ferdinand Marcos Jr. indicating the Comelec’s willingness to set a new date for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for those planning to run for local posts in the new province to be called Nueva Camarines.
The Senate bill carving the fourth district out of the five-district Camarines Sur (CamSur) province and naming it Nueva Camarines remains in the period of debate. The House of Representatives passed its version last year.
Under Senate rules, senators need to finish the debate period and introduce individual amendments to the bill before a vote is made on the measure.
The bill came under attack in September after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of railroading its passage due to pressure from CamSur congressmen led by the governor’s father, Representative Luis Villafuerte Sr.
In his letter, Governor Villafuerte said Brillantes’ letter to Marcos’ committee indicated that the Comelec “can open and set a new period for the filing of COCs only in the province of Nueva Camarines but not in the existing province of Camarines Sur.”
“The Senate has not even passed the bill on second reading,” the younger Villafuerte said.
“The Comelec should be very realistic and set a definite and non-extendable deadline,” he said.