MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes admitted they are getting dizzy with problems cropping up amid preparations for the 2013 mid-term elections.
He said the Comelec expects to get more help once President Benigno Aquino III names a seventh commissioner to replace Augusto Lagman.
"Patong-patong, pero marami naman kami…We’re asking the president to appoint the seventh. He's going to appoint before start of congress…I haven't endorsed anybody. Sana babae ilagay, nalulungkot kami lagi rito."
“Marami kaming nakikita, malapit na kaming mahilo,” he said of the Comelec’s problems.
He said, however, it’s not something they can’t handle.
The Comelec will focus on the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) next as qualified voters there register for the 2013 mid-term elections from July 9 to 18.
Each of the commissioners has been put in charge of a province.
Brillantes himself will stay mostly in Zamboanga City; Commissioner Elias Yusoph gets Basilan; Commissioner Rene Sarmiento gets Tawi-Tawi; Commissioner Lucenito Tagle gets Sulu; Commissioner Armando Velasco gets Lanao del Sur; and Commissioner Ivan Christian Lim gets Maguindanao.
For the ARMM registration, Brillantes said they have made security arrangements with the military and policemen.
A gun ban has also been imposed, while the permits to carry firearms have also been suspended.
Checkpoints have also been set up.
Brillantes refused to confirm nor deny if election officers will be reshuffled.
Brillantes said registration nationwide should be finished by the filing of candidacies in early October, along with the bidding for other requirements.