No postponement of hearings on NegOr BSKE deferment plea: Comelec

Posted by watchmen
June 20, 2023
Posted in News

The scheduled public hearings on the proposed deferment of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in Negros Oriental will proceed as scheduled from June 27 to 29.

Acting Commission on Elections (Comelec) – Central Visayas director Lionel Marco Castillano told the Philippine News Agency yesterday that despite June 28 being a non-working holiday (Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice), the series of public hearings across the province will still be held as there is no more time to transfer these to other dates.

“We already discussed this with Comelec chair [Erwin] Garcia that it would be difficult to move these public hearings as we have already sent notices to all parties as required by law,” he said.

The Comelec is hoping for a bigger turnout of people at the hearings, especially on June 28, since there will be no work that day, he added.

Castillano said they have invited mayors, local officials, representatives from the Church, business, academe and other sectors to attend these public hearings so they could air their sentiments and help the poll body in deciding on the proposed deferment of the BSKE.

He also urged the public to attend public hearings so they can also air their concerns.

The Comelec will hold a coordinating conference on the morning of June 27 at the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office to discuss matters of security and peace and order, Castillano said.

The top officials who will be arriving on June 27 are Garcia, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Andres Centino, and Philippine National Police chief General Benjamin Acorda, Jr.

Castillano said the Centino and Acorda will hold a briefing on the peace and order and security situation in the province to help the poll body decide on whether Negros Oriental warrants being placed under Comelec control during the elections.

The public hearings are an offshoot of recommendations from national officials to postpone the BSKE as allowed by the law following the assassination of Governor Roel Degamo and nine others at his residence in Pamplona town on March 4.

Sixteen others were wounded when heavily armed men barged into the Degamo residential compound and sprayed automatic gunfire at the people to whom the government was distributing government aid.

Castillano said the public hearings will help provide a clear, honest and truthful assessment of Negros Oriental, to avoid false impressions of the province that would impact on the economy, tourism and the lives of its people. (PNA)

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