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Special polls in Negros Oriental cancelled

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday announced the cancellation of the December 9 special polls in the third legislative district of Negros Oriental after the House of Representatives withdrew its call for the conduct of the election to replace expelled Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr.

In a press briefing, Comelec chairman George Garcia said they will no longer conduct the special elections next month even if the period for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) already started last Monday.

“In view of the foregoing, we submit that House Resolution No. 136, which called for the conduct of the special election in the 3rd Legislative District of the Province of Negros Oriental is deemed recalled and abandoned upon passage of House Resolution No. 154,” said Garcia.

“Therefore, in recognition of the legislative power of Congress, the Law Department and the En Banc decided to cancel the conduct of the special election in the 3rd Legislative District of the Province of Negros Oriental, and for the Commission to discontinue its ongoing preparations for the said special election,” he said.

The poll chief said that upon their receipt of the House resolution Wednesday afternoon, they immediately sent out directives to their concerned field personnel.

“We are directing the regional director of the Commission on Elections in the region, Commission on Elections supervisor of Negros Oriental, including all election officers, to inform all the parties, including all the citizens arm, interest groups, and stakeholders that the special elections in Negros Oriental will no longer push through,” Garcia said.

Asked if the Comelec was surprised by the decision, Garcia answered in the affirmative but added that it wasn’t extraordinary.

“Congress has the power to call for a special election. Congress also has the power to not call for a specific election. The Comelec will just implement the mandate of the House of Representatives in this respect. This involves the question of membership. Therefore, this should be resolved by the House of Representatives,” said Garcia.

The House on Tuesday night adopted HRN 154 urging the Comelec to reconsider the conduct of special