MANILA, Aug. 2— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking at several options on how it will hold the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls in the conflict-hit Marawi City.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez noted that they came up with some scenarios as to how they will hold polls there, in case the scheduled village and youth elections pushes through on October 23.
One option, he said, is to hold the elections outside Marawi.
“Election Officers in neighboring areas may be called upon to serve the people in the evacuation centers. Now, on where it may be held, that has not yet been discussed,” Jimenez added.
Another option is to postpone elections in the affected areas, he said.
“When holding fair elections are no longer possible is one of the grounds of a failure of elections. That can be used as a basis in postponing the elections instead of risking a failure of elections,” according to the poll body official.
The Omnibus Election Code states, elections may be postponed if there are “serious cause, such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible”.
In the 2013 barangay polls, the commission had ordered the postponement of elections in Zamboanga City after it was torn apart by the weeks-old crisis involving government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
On the other hand, the holding of the October polls is not yet certain, as there are moves to postpone it.
There are pending bills in the Senate and at the House of Representative that aims at postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2018 and to May 2020, respectively. (Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA)