Lawmakers told: Try strict regulation of recalls

WHILE favoring the ditching of recall polls, the head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) opined Sunday that it would be good for lawmakers to look into the possibility of limiting the qualifications of allowing such exercises under the Local Government Code.

According to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, lawmakers can also look into the option of limiting scenarios, where recall elections shall be allowed.

“Maybe, they can also look at tightening the qualifications. Maybe provide a strict regulation. These days, almost everyone can call for recall elections,” said Brillantes.

Section 69 of the Local Government Code states that the “power of recall for loss of confidence shall be exercised by the registered voters of a local government unit to which the local elective official subject to such recall belongs”.

Earlier, Palawan Representative Dennis Socrates filed House Bill 6222, which calls for the abolishing of the recall mechanism provided in the Local Government Code.

According to Brillantes, they will not oppose such a proposed measure since they are the ones severely placed at a disadvantage whenever recall elections are called.

“That would be good for us since we are not being given money by Congress to finance recall elections. We cannot do with P1 million only for recall elections. It can only cover one barangay,” he quipped.

The poll chief said the specific budget does not only cover all recall elections alone but also special elections such as the one recently called for Negros Occidental’s fifth district for the post left by the late Representative Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.

“For that special elections, we needed Php31 million. Where will we get that? In our savings where else,” said Brillantes.

Section 75 of the Local Government Code provides that “all expenses incident to recall elections shall be borne by the Comelec.” (HDT/Sunnex)

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