The Commission on Elections, the government’s election watchdog, said it was ready to conduct a special election in Marawi City, devastated by an ISIS-inspired terrorist siege that lasted for five months in 2017 starting in May.
The Comelec had just supervised the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in more than 42,000 barangays nationwide on Monday.
Tuesday night, Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said the agency was set to conduct an assessment on the possibility of holding the elections in Marawi at a later date, stressing “There are reasons why we did not push through with the elections in Marawi. And if all those reasons are now gone, then we will schedule the elections already.”
Acting Comelec Chairman Al Parreño said the assessment would be done similar to what they did in earlier evaluating whether holding the May 14 elections in Mindanao, which is under martial law, was feasible or not.
“We will be using a similar process in coming up with that decision [on the Marawi elections], wherein the commissioners went to different parts of Mindanao, hold hearings and consultations,” he said.
Guia noted the poll body would be making the evaluation within three months.
“We are working on the three-month timeline. We will continue to assess the situation in Marawi,” said Guia.
Back in January, the Comelec issued Minute Resolution 18-0085 which approved the conduct of elections in Mindanao with the exception of Marawi City, where rehabilitation was ongoing.
The Comelec en banc, however, ordered the conduct of a physical/ocular/structural integrity study or assessment of the polling precincts in Marawi City and recommend whether or not to conduct election three months after the scheduled May 14 barangay and youth polls.
On May 23, 2017, almost all of Marawi City was crushed by the five-month battle between the Maute terror group and government troops.