The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Oriental said yesterday that it would begin accepting certificates of candidacy (COCs) on November 6, in time for the December 9 special elections in the province’s 3rd congressional district.
The filing of COCs at the provincial Comelec office in Dumaguete City would run until November 8, lawyer Elisero Labaria, acting provincial election supervisor, told the Philippine News Agency.
“We are actually ready for the special elections, except that we are awaiting word from the Comelec central office regarding the forms to be used for the filing of the COCs,” he said.
The election period will officially begin on November 9, he said, adding that there have been no changes so far in the calendar of activities for the special elections as stipulated in Comelec Resolution 10945 promulgated last August 30.
The Comelec announced in August the holding of the special elections in the 3rd district to fill the vacancy left by then Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was expelled by the House of Representatives for several reasons, including his continued absences and refusal to return to the country and being tagged as the alleged mastermind in the March 4 assassination of Governor Roel Degamo.
In the absence of Teves, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was named caretaker of the 3rd legislative district of Negros Oriental.
Labaria said there is no word yet as to whether the 3rd district only or the entire Negros Oriental will be placed under Comelec control.
The 3rd district comprises the towns of Valencia, Bacong, Dauin, Zamboanguita, Siaton, Sta. Catalina, and Basay, and Bayawan City in the south of the province. It has a total of 301,264 registered voters.
Meanwhile, the security forces deployed to Negros Oriental for election duty in relation to the Comelec control status have started returning to their mother units, Lt. Stephen Polinar, spokesperson of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, said.
Polinar said the province was generally peaceful throughout the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections up to the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. (PNA)