THE election officer of Cagayan de Oro City has reiterated that pushing for the holding of the recall election for the mayoralty seat is “impossible.”

“First and foremost, recall elections [are] expensive. If the former mayor would really want to push it through, he would really spend big amount of money for it,” said lawyer Aleli Ramirez, head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in the city, Friday morning.

Ramirez was referring to the move initiated by former city mayor Vicente Emano to remove incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno from office.

Emano, through his supporter-petitioners, said Moreno doesn't have the trust and confidence of the Kagay-anons as they want the Comelec to conduct a recall election.

For a recall petition to be entertained by the poll body, the petitioners must first gather some 20,000 signatures from duly registered voters. After that, the Comelec central office will verify if the signees are legitimate or not.

Ramirez said that that stage alone in the recall petition process is both difficult and time-consuming.

Aside from that, two options can be chosen by the petitioner whether he/she would take the manual or the automated elections. The latter is more expensive although less tedious.

Two months ago, the Comelec suspended proceedings of all recall petitions because of the lack of budget. It will likely remain despite appeals to have it lifted.

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes said in reports that he will not entertain motions for reconsiderations and those who would like to question the resolution must go to the Supreme Court directly.

City Administrator Roy Raagas said they are confident that recall elections would not come out of sheer luck.

“The process is very long and not easy not only for the petitioners but also for Comelec as they have numerous other tasks to attend to,” Raagas said.

Tactics for 2016

“As far as we can recall, Comelec earlier pronounced that recall petitions are not among priority agenda of Comelec in view of the numerous pending election protests, and the non-availability of funds too.”

Raagas said this (recall petition) might be one of Emano’s tactics for the 2016 elections.

“As a Cagayan de Oro resident, such petition, despite the almost 20,000 vote difference, which was initiated by the loyalists of the defeated ex mayor and is fully supported by him is but a ploy in a desperate attempt to keep his loyalists intact in the hope of making a comeback in the 2016 elections,” he said.

At present, Ramirez said the suspension to hold a recall election has not yet been removed.