By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has cancelled the first regular elections for Members of House of Representatives in South Cotabato scheduled on October 26.
The poll body’s decision was contained in Minute Resolution No. 19-0932 dated September 25.
“After due deliberation, the Commission taking into consideration the Supreme Court decision… hereby resolves to cancel the October 26 1st Regular Elections for Member of House of Representatives, 1st and 3rd Legislative Districts of South Cotabato,” read the resolution.
Earlier, the SC ordered the proclamation of former vice mayor Shirlyn L. Banas Nograles of General Santos City as the duly elected member of the House of Representatives for the first legislative district of South Cotabato.
The SC nullified an order of the poll body which suspended the election for the first legislative district of South Cotabato last May 13.
The Comelec suspended the holding of congressional elections in the first district of South Cotabato last May 13 in accordance with Republic Act No. 11243, which reapportioned the first district of South Cotabato by creating a separate legislative district for General Santos City.
It then set the congressional elections on October 26 for the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato.
In the Minute Resolution, the poll body said it will also not file a Motion for Reconsideration on the SC decision and accordingly inform the Office of the Solicitor General.
The Comelec en banc said the Commission shall proceed with the proclamation of Shirlyn Banas-Nograles as the winning candidate for the position of representative for the 1st Legislative District of South Cotabato, including General Santos City, after the finality of the SC decision.
“Executive Director Jose M. Tolentino Jr. and Director Bartolome J. Sinocruz Jr. shall prepare the mechanism procedure in connection with the proclamation of the winning candidate,” the resolution read.