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Comelec suspends prep for October 26 So. Leyte polls

TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Regional Office 8 has announced that all preparations for the October 26 special elections in Southern Leyte is suspended.

Comelec 8 regional director Atty. Jose Nick Mendros said all preparations for the election of the representatives of the 1st and 2nd districts of the province are temporarily placed on hold, pending the issuance by the Supreme Court of a certificate of finality in the Nograles case.

“There are no formal directives yet, but I received a phone call yesterday from our Deputy Executive Director for Operations for the suspension,” he shared.

However, Mendros said that the holding of elections might just be moved to a later date.

The SC, in its decision, granted the instant petition for status quo ante order sought former city vice mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles as the duly-elected representative of the first district of South Cotabato and General Santos City, as it declared Comelec Resolution 10524 that scheduled the conduct of special elections for the 2 districts 6 months after the May 13 elections null and void.

Nograles’ camp noted that the scheduling of the first regular election “within six months from May 13, 2019” violated the provisions of RA 11243. 

The High Court ruled that Section 1 of RA 11243 categorically stated that the reapportionment of the first district “shall commence in the next national and local elections after the effectivity of this Act”. Southern Leyte’s reapportioning was implemented on February 19, 2019, with the effectivity of Republic Act 11198, while South Cotabato’s reapportioning happened after Republic Act 11243 became effective on April 4, 2019. By Marie Tonette Marticio

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