Comelec asked to reset ’22 polls
Citing the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason, a grassroots organization has called for the postponement of next year’s elections and postponed them to 2025 instead.
In a petition filed with the Elections Commission (Comelec) over the weekend, the Coalition for Life and Democracy (NCLD) said the pandemic is a compelling reason to postpone the May 9, 2022 elections.
“The experience of the past few months and the current situation demand continued compliance with health protocols, including the prohibition of social gatherings and overcrowding,” he added.
The NCLD also cited the threat of the reported “highly transmissible” Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The problem, he added, is the dating engagement or early campaigning of national and local candidates in total disregard of health protocols.
“These politicians don’t really care about the lives of poor voters. If they really care about the plight of the poor, there are plenty of other ways to help them and not through assemblies in violation of IATF protocols. .. as beggars for money or relief goods ”, said the petitioner.
The group is aware that an act of Congress is needed to postpone the elections, although it stressed that under the Omnibus electoral code, Comelec can postpone the elections at the local level.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the postponement requires congressional approval and, if allowed, must also remain in line with the Constitution that there should be a new president by June 30th.
Jimenez explained that the commission does not have the power to postpone the elections as it is constitutionally mandated but has the power, under the omnibus electoral code, to postpone them if there is a valid reason.
Under article 5 of Batas Pambansa 881 of the General Electoral Code, Comelec can only postpone the election “for a serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of paraphernalia or files. elections, force majeure and other similar causes of such a nature that the holding of free, orderly and fair elections should become impossible in any political subdivision. ”Jimenez, however, said that it was unlikely that the nationwide May 2022 elections may be overturned due to Covid-19.
“Unlikely because when we say we cancel elections, it means that the conditions for free and fair elections do not exist,” Jimenez said.