The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday it is now coordinating with the House of Representatives regarding the setting of a special election for the seventh legislative district of the province of Cavite.
Comelec acting spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the poll body’s Office of the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director for Operations, are in charge of coordinating with the legislature regarding the matter.
“The Certification issued by the lower house is the first step for the Commission to take into consideration the subject vacancy. This certification will be formally communicated to the Comelec, usually with the necessary budgetary appropriations. Upon such, we will be coordinating with the HoR for the timelines and date of special elections. This is the usual process,” said Comelec acting spokesperson, John Rex Laudiangco, in a statement.
Article VI, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution states that “in case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus elected shall serve only for the unexpired term.”
“After due consideration, necessarily appropriations on the budget will be required/requested, corollary to the setting of the calendar of activities, particularly the special election period and special Election Day,” Laudiangco said.
He added that this will be followed by varying procurement activities for special ballots and accountable and non-accountable forms, other supplies (including anti-coronavirus supplies) and the corresponding trainings of the Special Electoral Boards and Special Provincial Board of Canvassers.
On the other hand, he noted the ongoing preparations for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) will not be affected by this development.
“BSKE preparations are already underway and this will not significantly impact our timelines. However, should this proceed accordingly, as officially initiated by the House Resolution and Certification of Vacancy to be officially transmitted to Comelec, key preparations will necessarily involve the following and must be given due consideration: budget, procurement trainings,” the Comelec official said.
He added that the commission’s budget for this year is only limited to the conduct of the May 9 polls and the December 5 BSKE.
“We will be checking for appropriate sources of funds, and if there is none or the same will be insufficient, we will be requesting for the appropriate funding/supplement for the conduct of this special elections, the grant of which shall pave the way for the various procurement activities and trainings,” he added.
Cavite’s seventh congressional district seat became vacant after then Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla, who was elected in the May 9 polls, was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as Justice Secretary.
The chamber, through Resolution No. 100 dated July 27, officially declared the position vacant and called on the Comelec to fill the vacancy through a special election.