Poll body to start hearings on Barangay, SK elections in Mindanao

Published January 18, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Mike U. Crismundo

Butuan City — A poll body is set to conduct hearings in three areas in Mindanao to determine whether to push through or postpone the May 14, 2018 Barangay, SK polls in Mindanao following the one year extension of martial law in the country’s second largest island.

“This is our determining factor if we will push through or not with the elections in Mindanao,” said Regional Director Atty. Francisco Pobe of the Commission on Elections (Comelec-Caraga Region 13).

He said these three public hearings will be held in three strategic areas in Mindanao.

The first public hearing will take place on Jan. 22, 2018 in Zamboanga City which covers the areas of Southwestern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula; the second hearing will be in Cagayan de Oro City on Jan. 23 that covers the Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Regions; and the last hearing will be in Cotabato City on Jan. 29 that covers Central and Southern Mindanao regions.

“After these three hearings, the poll body will announce the result,” the Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga) region’s Comelec chief said.

These consultations will personally get the pulse of the voters in Mindanao, the country’s second largest registered voters in Southern Philippines, he said.

The region’s Comelec chief said it is crucial for them to check if the conditions for free and fair elections are present in spite of the prevailing martial law in Mindanao.