Comelec suspends Oct. 26 polls in South Cotabato, Southern Leyte

Published October 24, 2019, 4:50 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Leslie Ann Aquino

The first regular elections for the District Representatives of South Cotabato and Southern Leyte scheduled on October 26 have been suspended by the Commission on Elections.

Commission on Elections (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Elections (MANILA BULLETIN)

In Resolution No. 10612, the poll body resolved to suspend the elections for Member, House of Representatives for the First and Third (Lone) Legislative Districts of South Cotabato.

The Comelec said this is in view of the Resolution of the Supreme Court directing them to proclaim Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles as Representatives for the First Legislative District of South Cotabato, including General Santos City.

To note, the SC declared as null and void Comelec Resolution No. 10524 and ordered the convening of a Special Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim the winning candidate.

In the same Comelec Resolution, the poll body also suspended the elections for Member, House of Representatives for the First and Second Legislative Districts of Southern Leyte citing the possibility of the SC resolution also being applied to a similarly situated case.

“(This) in view of the possibility that the resolution of the SC in the Banas-Nograles case will be applied on (Mercado case), as both cases are similarly situated,” the poll body said.

“However, in case no decision from the SC is forthcoming, the Southern Leyte elections shall push through on November 30, 2019, to avoid any prolonged vacuum in the Office of Representatives for the first and second legislative districts,” they added.

With the suspension, the Comelec said all activities including bidding and procurements and implementation of all their resolutions relative to the October 26 polls have also been suspended.

The Comelec earlier suspended the holding of congressional elections in the first district of South Cotabato last May 13 in accordance with Republic Act No. 11243, which reapportioned the first district of South Cotabato by creating a separate legislative district for General Santos City.

The holding of elections for district representatives in Southern Leyte was also previously suspended to a date later than May 13, 2019, in view of the passage of Republic Act No. 11198 which reapportioned the Province of Southern Leyte from a Lone Legislative District into two legislative districts.

RA No. 11198 reapportioning Southern Leyte into two legislative districts became effective on February 19, 2019.

Read more: Elections for congressmen in 1st and 2nd districts of Southern Leyte set on Oct. 26