Comelec to start consultations on postponement of BSKE in Negros Oriental in June

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it will start consulting with Negros Oriental residents next month on the possible postponement of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) there amid security concerns.

“Our executive director already submitted the proper guidelines. It will be up for consultation tomorrow, hopefully we will be able to approve the guidelines and we can start the consultation process even by June,” Comelec Chairman George Garcia told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

This is amid recommendations to defer the conduct of the village-level polls in Negros Oriental amid peace and order concerns in the area following the murder of Gov. Roel Degamo.

Garcia said that while the commission is “keeping an open mind" regarding the suggestion, there are several issues that must be settled.

He explained that the Comelec does have the power to postpone the polls, but only for 30 days.

Another matter that should be established is the basis for the postponement.

“There are serious reasons that must be the basis of postponing the elections,” he said, noting that this includes rebellion, violence, terrorism, and destruction of election paraphernalia.

Pero ang problem is kailan po kaya dapat nangyari itong mga violence, terrorism, force majeure na ito?" Garcia pointed out. "Dapat po ba ito nangyari during the election period o pwede po ba itong mangyari kahit several months before the election."

[Translation: But the problem is when this violence, terrorism, force majeure happens? Should it be during the election period or can it be several months before the election.]

While the people will be consulted about the possible deferment of the polls, Garcia said Comelec still has the final say on whether this will push through or not.