Monday, December 7, 2009

Maguindanao elections to push through despite martial law - Comelec

12/07/2009 | 03:50 PM

Original Story:

The elections in Maguindanao province, now under martial in connection with the November 23 massacre of 57 people there, will push through as scheduled next year despite the turmoil, the head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

“Whatever it is, hindi pwedeng magkaroon ng no elections. We will not allow it. Kapag nag-no elections tayo, that’s the end of democracy," Comelec Chairman Jose Melo told reporters in an interview.

(We cannot not have elections in Maguindanao. If that happens then that's the end of democracy.)

He said the worst-case scenario is if people in Maguindanao would not go out on May 10, 2010 to vote - a situation that could lead to the declaration of failure of elections in the province.

Article 6 of the Omnibus Election Code states that a failure of election is declared if the voting in any polling place was not held on the date fixed or was suspended before the closing of the voting "on account of violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes."

Melo said he would leave the situation in Maguindanao to security officials.

“Hindi ko masydong iniintindi yun. Basta ang akin lang maging normal ang situation so that we can hold elections. Responsibility na yun ng administration to see to it na ma-normalize ang situation doon," he said.

(I'm leaving the situation in Maguindanao to the administration. I just want them to make the situation there normal so that we can hold elections.) - Kimberly Jane Tan/LBG/KBK, GMANews.TV

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