Poll postponement unlikely — Comelec

December 13, 2021 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 281 views

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said the petition seeking the postponement of the 2022 national and local elections is “unlikely to prosper” as it is not in line with the 1987 Constitution.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the petition itself just at the surface seems unlikely to prosper.

“One of the things that works against it is the fact that it is asking the elections to be postponed all the way to 2025. [They are] basically saying that we are going against the Constitution and just not hold elections this year, that would be unconstitutional,” he said.

Jimenez said there is no provision in the Constitution that states elected officials can hold on to their posts in case a national election is postponed.

“The Constitution is very specific about when elections are to be held and there is no holdover provision in the Constitution or anywhere for the positions that is up for election in the coming polls,” he said.

Aside from this, the Comelec spokesperson also pointed out that the Comelec has no authority to suspend the elections for a long period of time, and that such postponement could only be done if the country is in a condition where “free and fair elections do not exist.”

“I think those particular criteria do not exist right now. So I don’t see any justification for granting that sort of petition. Of course, that is entirely up to Commission en Banc if ever it gets to them,” he said.

Last Friday, Coalition for Life and Democracy reportedly filed a petition seeking the suspension of the 2022 polls until May 2025 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As early as September 2020, the poll body has been clear that there is no need for the postponement of the 2022 elections as the Constitution has specific provisions for its conduct.

The Constitution mandates that national elections be conducted every second Monday of May every three years.