Comelec to conduct hearings on barangay, SK polls in Mindanao

MANILA -- Three public hearings will be held in Mindanao in connection with the conduct of May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.

This after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the third leg in the series of public hearings in the region this month.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, the event will be held at Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center, Limketkai Center, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City on January 23.

The consultations are precisely meant to help the Commission determine whether or not the upcoming elections should be postponed in Mindanao, he said in a statement.

Earlier, the poll body has already set two public hearings. The first hearing will be held in Gov. Carmins Avenue, Zamboanga City on January 22 and while another hearing is set at the Alnor Hotel and Convention Center in Cotabato City on January 29.

It is crucial for us to verify that the conditions for free and fair elections are present in spite of the persistence of Martial Law in that part of the country, he added.

Based on the Omnibus Election Code, the commission, either motu proprio or through a petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, may postpone the holding of elections due to violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes.

Last December, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, in Joint Session had approved the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.

Over a month before the supposed holding of the Barangay and SK polls, the commission en banc had ordered the postponement of the village and youth elections which was supposed to be held on Oct. 23, 2017 in the entirety of Mindanao.

The postponement was due to the imposition of military rule in the region until Dec. 31, 2017 at that time.

Source: Philippine News Agency