Special polls in Mt. Province
RESIDENTS of Mountain Province may have to wait for a special election to be scheduled by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after May 9 before they could choose their new governor.
Comelec Chair Antonio Bautista on Saturday said it was not possible for any relative or family member of the late Mountain Province Gov. Leonard Mayaen to take his place as the uncontested gubernatorial candidate in the May 9 elections.
Mayaen was running unopposed as an independent candidate when he died from a heart attack on March 31 at the hospital in Baguio City where he was airlifted after he collapsed on the eve of a provincial festival in capital town, Bontoc.
A Comelec rule forbids the substitution for any independent candidate who dies before an election.
Earlier, Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan, Mountain Province election supervisor, said that this provision should not have applied to Mayaen because it would leave a vacuum and that anyone surnamed Mayaen could substitute for the late governor.
But during his visit in Baguio City on Saturday, Bautista said Mayaen did not have a party “so it was not possible for a relative or family member to take his place in the elections.”
Vice Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, who is seeking reelection, has succeeded Mayaen as governor.
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