The May 2022 polls will push through as it is unconstitutional to move it to a later year, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez.
The Comelec official was reacting to a petition reportedly filed by the Coalition for Life and Democracy that was seeking to postpone the May 2022 polls to 2025 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
”I think they’re going by the fact that the Comelec does have the authority to suspend the conduct of elections. But, the petition itself, just on the surface of it, seems unlikely to prosper,” Jimenez said in a television interview on Monday.
“Basically saying that we’re going to go against the Constitution and just not hold elections this year. Right? That would be unconstitutional,” he added.
Jimenez said the Comelec can postpone or suspend the May 2022 polls for a short period “only when the conditions for free and fair elections do not exist.”
“I think those particular criteria do not exist right now. So, I don’t see any justification for granting this sort of petition. Of course, that’s entirely on the commission en banc if it ever gets to them,” he added.
The Comelec is even pushing through with the mock polls scheduled for December 29, which was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said the mock polls would help in the preparations for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.
“In order to ensure the safe and effective conduct of the 2022 National and Local Elections, the IATF poses no objection to the request of the Commission on Elections to conduct nationwide mock election exercises on December 29, 2021,” Nograles said.