AN ELECTION lawyer on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to set the voting for village leaders in May next year after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said this was the earliest possible date to hold the postponed electoral exercise.
“Aware of the competence and wide experience of Comelec in conducting elections, be it manual or automated, and Chairman George Erwin M. Garcia being a very experienced election lawyer, petitioner honestly submits that the said election could be held at an earlier date,” lawyer Romulo B. Macalintal said in a four-page plea filed on Monday.
The petition was filed after the oral arguments on Oct. 21 for a related plea he filed last month, which sought to stop the postponement of the elections from December 5 to October next year.
“Thus, I asked the SC that pending resolution of my petition the Comelec be directed to resume its timeline of activities and its preparation to hold the elections in May 2023,” Mr. Macalintal said.
During the arguments, the election body told the high court that Comelec could hold the village elections in May 2023 instead of October.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed a law on Oct. 10 that moved the elections from December this year to October 2023.
The elections will be held on the last Monday of October 2023 and every three years thereafter, according to the new law.
Mr. Macalintal earlier said Congress does not have the power to defer the elections.
The Comelec chief earlier said his agency had spent more than a billion pesos on preparations.
In August, Mr. Garcia told a Senate hearing that postponing the elections would require as much as P18 billion, more than double its original budget of P8.44 billion. — John Victor D. Ordoñez