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Monday, March 4, 2024

Comelec eyes caretaker for Negros Or. 3rd district in lieu of special election

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) says the House of Representatives may just appoint a caretaker for the third district of Negros Oriental in lieu of the planned special elections in the area.

Comelec chairman George Garcia made the statement after the poll body cancelled the Dec. 9 special election to pick a new congressman to replace expelled Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., a principal suspect in the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo of Negros Oriential.

The Comelec made the decision based on a measure about the same matter by the House of Representatives.

“Why proceed with the election when we would have the election by 2025? A caretaker would just be the same. The caretaker would implement projects, with the proposed legislation for and behalf of the district so it would not be problematic,” Garcia theorized.

He cited the case of Valenzuela Rep.Rex Gatchalian who gave up the seat after he was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

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Congress designated Quezon 1st District Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga as the legislative caretaker of Valenzuela’s 1st District.

“It is up to the House of Representatives in the meantime to appoint a caretaker. That is what they have been doing in the past,” Garcia said.

The Comelec would have spent around P75 million for the special election in the Third District of Negros Oriental, Garcia noted.

“It is a pure call of the House of Representatives. We cannot even interfere,” he added.

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