By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections has set the first regular elections on October 26, 2019 for the representative of the first and second legislative districts of Southern Leyte and the first and third (lone) legislative districts of South Cotabato.
The poll body earlier suspended the holding of elections for district representatives of these provinces to a date later than May 13, 2019 due to operational and logistical constraints, in view of the passage of laws reapportioning the said legislative districts.
Republic Act No. 11198 reapportioning Southern Leyte into two legislative districts became effective on February 19, 2019, while R.A. No. 11243 reapportioning the first legislative district of South Cotabato and thereby creating the lone legislative district of General Santos City became effective on April 4, 2019.
In Resolution No. 1055, the Comelec also issued the guidelines and important dates pertaining to the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) and nomination and acceptance (CONA) by candidates of political parties or coalitions for electing the district representatives of Southern Leyte and South Cotabato.
Based on the said resolution, political parties or coalitions may submit a new list of authorized signatories and specimen signatures before the Law Department not later than August 15, 2019.
The filing of COC for the position of district representative, the poll body said shall be done at the respective Office of the Provincial Supervisor (OPES) that has jurisdiction over the elective position, from August 26, 2019 to August 28, 2019, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The last day to file a request for correction of the name to appear on the ballot will be on September 11, 2019.
As for substitute candidates, they have until September 18, 2019 to file their request.
The Comelec said the substitute of an official candidate of a duly registered political party or coalition who withdrew his candidacy may file a COC not later than September 16, 2019.
In case of death or disqualification by final judgment, the poll body said the substitute who shall bear the same surname as the substituted may file a COC up to mid-day of Election Day.