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Monday, March 4, 2024

Comelec defers Dec. 9 polls in Negros Oriental 3rd district

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has cancelled the Dec. 9 special election in the third district of Negros Oriental supposedly to fill the seat vacated by expelled Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr.

The the poll body adopted a recommendation of its law department based on a House resolution seeking to postpone the special polls.

“This afternoon, the Comelec en banc adopted the recommendation of our law department, which is the House Resolution 136 calling for the conduct of special elections in the Third Legislative District of the province of Negros Oriental is deemed recalled and abandoned upon the passage of House Resolution 154,” Comelec chairman GeorgeGarcia told reporters.

“Therefore, in recognition of the legislative power of Congress, the

Law Department and the [Comelec] en banc decided to cancel the conduct of special elections in the Third Legislative District of the province of Negros Oriental and for the Commission to discontinue its ongoing preparation for the said special election,” Garcia said.

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The Comelec law department adopted House Resolution 154 one day before Pryde Henry Teves filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for his brother’s previous post, the GMA News reported.

Arnie Teves was expelled from the House of Representatives due to disorderly behavior and his continuing absence in the House proceedings despite an expired travel authority.

Arnie Teves was also facing murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder charges arising from the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Both Arnie and Henry have been tagged as “terrorists” by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) in relation to the killings and harassments in Negros Oriental.

Pryde Henry, meanwhile, said he will appeal his designation as terrorist.

Meanwhile, a retired Philippine Navy officer and an ally of slain Gov. Degamo on Tuesday filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) with the Comelec) provincial office in Negros Oriental.

Rey Lopez submitted his COC and other documentary requirements with no issues before noon, said Eliseo Labaria, acting provincial election supervisor of Negros Oriental.

Lopez, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1992 who hails from Siaton, Negros Oriental, is running as an independent but is a close ally of the slain governor and his widow, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo.

In the May 9, 2022 national elections, Lopez ran under the Nacionalista Party for the third district under the Degamo ticket but lost to Arnie Teves.

Arnie was tagged as the alleged mastermind in the March 4 massacre of Degamo and nine others at the governor’s residence in Pamplona.

Labaria said the filing of COCs for the third congressional district election has been extended to Nov. 11 instead of only three days, Nov. 6-8.

He called on those planning to contest the third district seat to file their COCs early to allow the Comelec enough time to evaluate their documents and other requirements.

Lopez, who came in early to the Comelec office, accompanied by his supporters, had to redo some of the forms he submitted after they were found to be incomplete, Labaria said.

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