The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has postponed the congressional polls for the 1st and 2nd legislative districts of Southern Leyte set on Saturday in anticipation of a possible Supreme Court (SC) ruling to stop the polls.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Thursday that the elections in the 2 districts of Southern Leyte will not push through as scheduled, just like what happened in the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato, also slated this month.
“The Commission resolved to suspend the elections in view of the possibility that the Resolution of the SC in the Banas-Nograles case will be applied in the Mercado case, as both cases are similarly situated,” Jimenez said in a press conference.
The poll body official added that all activities related to the Southern Leyte polls have consequently been suspended.
Jimenez, however, noted that they were looking to hold the congressional polls in Southern Leyte on November 30, in case the SC has yet to decide on the matter.
“(This is) to avoid any prolonged vacuum in the Office of the Representatives for the first and second districts of Southern Leyte,” he said.
Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado ran for re-election in the May 2019 polls and received the most votes.
Republic Act 11198 has reapportioned Southern Leyte from one to two legislative districts.
The poll body was referring to the decision of the High Court declaring as null and void the Comelec resolution setting the congressional elections in the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato.
The SC also ordered to proclaim Shirlyn Banas-Nograles as the duly elected representative of the first district of South Cotabato, including General Santos City.
On September 25, the poll body decided to comply with the SC decision and cancel the October 26 polls in the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato. (PNA)