Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. of the Commission on Elections yesterday urged residents of the fifth district of Negros Occidental to go out and vote for their new congressman today.
Brillantes said everything is in place and appears to be okay for the voting that starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
He said he hopes the weather stays good today to ensure a good turnout of voters.
Running for the congressional post are Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol and his nephew Board Member Emilio Yulo III.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday called on everyone to ensure a peaceful, credible and democratic election in the fifth district today.
The governor, who is supporting the congressional bid of Mirasol, said he will win by 12,000 to 15,000 votes, based on a survey he had conducted.
Yulo, on the other hand, also insists he will win.
Brillantes and COMELEC Commissioners Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim are in Negros Occidental to observe today’s polls and will stay until a winning congressman is proclaimed, either Saturday night, or Sunday morning.
The special election for congressman is being held following the death of Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr. in London in January.
Brillantes said the winner who will be proclaimed this weekend can immediately assume his post as congressman on Monday, and will have one year to serve.
The regular elections are set in May next year with the filling of certificates of candidacy set October 1 to 5 this year, Brillantes added.
National candidates will have 90 days before the May 13, 2013 election to campaign, while local bets will have 45 days.
Brillantes said the special election it is holding today is the last before the May 2013 polls.
The COMELEC did not want to hold the special election today because it is too late already and cost a lot of money, at P21.6 million, he said, but had to comply with a House of Representatives resolution.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal filed a petition before the Supeme Court in April to stop the special election in the fifth district for allegedly being illegal “because it will be held beyond the period as provided by law.”
Brillantes said the SC is on recess and has not decided on the petition, so it will be moot and academic with a winner to be declared this weekend.*CPG