Comelec to continue polls preparation

CEBU CITY — While the postponement of the local elections is yet to be signed into law, the Commission on Elections will continue its preparations for the October barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu Provincial Elections supervisor, on Wednesday said the Comelec will continue its preparations but will stop the printing of the official ballots while awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of the postponement of the October polls.

Castillano said the gun ban will still be in effect not only in Cebu but all over the country starting October 1.

The Senate approved last week on third and final reading the postponement of local elections to May 2018.

“After the postponement will be signed into law by President Duterte, there will still be 15 days for its submission. Until then, the postponement is not yet official. So, the gun ban is still in effect,” Castillano explained.

The Comelec will likewise continue receiving Certificates of Candidacy (COC) until Oct. 11, but Castillano said it is highly likely that no aspirant will be filing a COC any longer since the postponement bill only awaits the signature of the President.

With the gun ban in effect starting Sunday, Castillano said checkpoints will also be put up.

Meanwhile, Provincial Association of Barangay Councils president Celestino Martinez III said they are also awaiting the formal signing of the bill by the president as the law will include the guidelines concerning holdover ex-oficio officials. Luel Galarpe & Levirose Caballero/PNA