By Ellson Quismorio
A Mindanao lawmaker is proposing the separate conduct of elections between local and national positions as a response to recent reports of poll-related violence.
Polls for district congressmen and all local government elective positions are bloody and violence-ridden and should be held separate from party-list and other national elections, Iligan City lone district Rep. Frederick Siao said.
“They can be held in the same year, but several months apart with the national elections in May and the locals in November or December,” suggested Siao, a member of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
The House Majority member said his proposal would result to “fewer cases of violence, shorter ballots, and faster tallying of votes.
Siao gave this statement a few days after the mayor and vice mayor of Balaoan, La Union, were ambushed while on their way to the municipal hall.
Reports said Mayor Aleli Concepcion and Vice Mayor Al-fred Concepcion were sprayed with bullets by five unknown gunmen, causing the death of the latter.
As per Siao, elections for national positions should be carried out first because he claimed these “are non-violent and so their campaigns can be focused on national interest issues.”
“The filing of candidacies and campaign period for the local elections can begin in August and elections can be timed with the November or December holidays,” Siao, a former City Councilor said.
He added that one gain from unsynchronizing the elections is “we get to have shorter, simpler, and much easier to understand ballots.”
“There would be some cost difference but not so wide a gap. Having peaceful and bloodless national elections is the trade-off for that,” Siao said.