Comelec: Pablo damage won’t stop polls

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Davao saw no need to declare a failure of elections in areas hit by Typhoon Pablo last December.

Comelec assistant Regional Director Marlon Casquejo said: “It's too premature to declare a failure of elections despite earlier claims that there is such a move. So far, we are still within the timeline and we haven't encountered problems yet.”

Based on the provisions of Omnibus Election Code, declaring a failure of election is an extraordinary remedy that can only be exercised only under three circumstances: the election is not held due to several reasons; the election is suspended; or the election results in a failure to elect.

Among the accepted reasons for not holding an election on the scheduled date include presence of "force majeur," violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes.

In the case of Davao Region, Casquejo said the possible grounds for declaring failure of election is the absence of conducive polling precincts since majority of schools in typhoon-hit provinces in the region were severely damaged or used as evacuation areas for affected families.

Casquejo said elections in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, which were badly hit by the typhoon, will push through no matter what, even if it means making polling precincts out from tents.
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