The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will call a public hearing on all towns in Negros Oriental for consultations on the proposal of Senator Francis Tolentino to defer the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the province due to violence.
In yesterday’s hearing of the Senate Committee on public order and Dangerous Drugs, Comelec chairman George Erwin Garcia said they will commence the public hearing after the filing of the certificates of candidacy on August 28 for the BSKE.
Garcia said the Comelec will make a decision on the second or third week of September.
He said they will also consider the recommendations of the military and the police regarding the proposed postponement of the polls.
The poll body will also consider Tolentino’s statement regarding the results of a survey in Region 7 or Negros Oriental that majority of the residents favor a deferment of the elections.
During the Senate hearings, residents testified on the spate of violence in Negros Oriental that preceded the assassination Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others last March 4.
Garcia explained that the law was clear that Comelec has the authority to postpone an election within 40 to 90 days, petition or no petition.
Any particular place can also be placed under Comelec control or under serious control, he added.
As this developed, Region 7 director police chief Gen. Anthony Aberin said they support the deferment of the BSKE in Negros Oriental.