Comelec suspends all proceedings for recall petitions

by Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 25 2014 11:22 AM | Updated as of May 25 2014 07:22 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suspended all proceedings for recall petitions against elective officials due to lack of funds.

Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said the poll body issued Resolution No. 9864 suspending all recall proceedings in accordance with the recommendation of the Office of the Deputy Executive Director in March.

Tagle said the Comelec is not allowed to let the petitioners shoulder the expenses in a recall election.

Under Sec. 15 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and Comelec Resolution 7505, all expenses incidental to recall elections shall be borne by the Comelec.

“We don’t have budget, so even if we approve a recall petition, we cannot do that,” Tagle said.

Comelec’s Finance Service Department (FSD) had raised an issue on the funding of an entire process in a memorandum dated March 24, 2014.

“Considering that the FSD had raised an issue as to the funding of any and all recall elections, any proceeding in furtherance thereof, including the verification process, is hereby suspended until the funding issue shall have been resolved,” Resolution 9864 reads.

Currently, there are two recall petitions pending before the Comelec. These involve Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado.

The Comelec found the petition against Bayron to be sufficient in substance and form but it could not proceed to the next step, which is verification of signatures, due to the resolution.