THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has temporarily halted the printing of ballots that will supposedly be used for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this October.
According to Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, the head of the printing committee, this is the poll body's move considering the "broad consensus" of the Congress and executive department in postponing the October 31 polls.
Bautista said the Comelec is only awaiting for a clear indication from the Congress that would be their legal basis for the postponement.
In a speech last August 26, President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to delay the upcoming polls as he fears that drug money will infiltrate the electoral process.
"Because I'm afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process. You will just be adding to our headache of people, na kung sino manalo ngayon," Duterte said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also said that polls will have to be postponed to allow the President to fill up vacancies in the government — which is prohibited during the said period.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, a President is barred from appointing new employees at least 45 days before a regular election and 30 days before a special election.
As of August 29, about 400,000 ballots were already printed. These ballots, according to Bautista, are for Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte.
Bautista said the poll body will safe-keep these ballots until the scheduled polls.
The Comelec chief earlier said that if the Congress would indeed postpone the October 31 electoral exercise, it would be rescheduled to either May or October 2017. (Sunnex)