By Alfonso T. Ruda
DIPOLOG CITY, August 3 (PIA)—“It all depends on the decision of Congress, including the President on whether or not the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will push through in October.”
This was the reaction of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres D. Bautista when asked by the members of the local media during a press conference held at Hotel Camila I, this city.
“Ang COMELEC at tagapagpatupad ng mga batas tungkol sa halalan. Kami naman, kung ano man ang maging pasya ng ating liderato, kasama na diyan ang ating Pangulo at ang kongreso (ng Senado at Kamara) ay aming susundin,” Bautista said.
According to Bautista, COMELEC needs at least two months to print the ballots needed in the Barangay and SK elections. “We will be needing 78 million ballots- 57 million ballots for barangay election and 21 million ballots for the SK election. And
we need two months to print and another one month to distribute,” he said.
The COMELEC is concerned on the possible wastage of government funds due to the delay like the supplies that they have to purchase.
Bautista pointed out that in the absence of any legislation on the possible postponement of the Barangay and SK Elections, it will be pushed through this coming October as scheduled.
However, he clarified that if ever there will be an election, it will also be postponed in some areas, especially those that are affected by the Marawi crisis.
Chairman Bautista is in Zamboanga del Norte to meet with the COMELEC field personnel to thank them and to hear their concerns to improve its operation.
He cited Atty. Teofisto Elnas, now the Director for Election as an appropriate person for the position having risen from the ranks and a good ambassador between its main office and the field offices. (ALT/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)