MANILA—Amid the call to postpone anew the Barangay polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the nationwide voter registeration will continue until next month.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they will also start preparing for the manual election system unless a law has been passed postponing the October 23 village and youth polls.
“We are actually working doubly to make sure that qualified individuals will really be registered as voters,” he added.
The voter registration is set to end on April 29.
With this, the poll body chief noted that they are just following what is provided by the law in holding the country’s electoral exercises.
“The Comelec’s mandate is to implement laws related to holding elections. So whatever is provided for by law, we will just follow,” he explained.
Bautista is hoping that if there is a move to postpone the forthcoming elections, the proponents should act on it at the soonest possible time.
“We hope they will come up with a decision earlier or, at least, immediately have a clear direction in Congress,” he added.
On the other hand, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said they are one with President Rodrigo Duterte in ensuring clean and honest electoral exercises in the country.
“Comelec is aware of the president’s position on the conduct of elections and the commission shares and the president’s desire to safeguard of electoral process,” he said.
Jimenez added, “Gusto din namin siguro na malinis at tapat ‘yung ating electoral process. But the Comelec must also underscore that the commission is obedient to the laws which means that if an electoral exercise is scheduled in the law then that is what we are preparing for.”
The poll body official noted that they are also leaving the matter of postponing the village polls to Congress.Last week, President Duterte said he would like the barangay elections to be postponed again, as he does not want polls to be held due to the alleged use of drug money by some village officials.
The village polls was supposed to be held last October 31, 2016 polls but was moved to October this year.