The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will continue its preparations for the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the event a petition for a temporary restraining order against its postponement is filed with and granted by the Supreme Court, poll chairperson George Garcia said Thursday.
At a press conference, Garcia said the Comelec en banc has decided that they will proceed with the printing of the ballots, awarding of contracts, and procurement of election paraphernalia as they are not dismissing the possibility that the legality and constitutionality of Republic Act 11935 will be questioned before the high court.
RA 11935, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on October 10, effectively moved the 2022 BSKE to the last Monday of October 2023.
“Nobody can prevent an interest group, a citizen’s arm, a cause-oriented group, or even an ordinary taxpayer from questioning the legality and constitutionality of any law, or in this case, this postponement, to the Supreme Court,” Garcia said.
“What if in any eventuality, for the sake of argument, the Supreme Court will say otherwise and then the Comelec is not prepared?”
Garcia said the poll body will only pause the printing of official ballots for a week to reconfigure the ballot face templates and reflect the October 30, 2023 new BSKE date.
Asked what would happen if the Supreme Court decides in favor of certain petitioners who would file a TRO, Garcia said the December 2022 BSKE will then push through.
“Kunyari lamang po na mangyari na TRO [in case there is a TRO], then it would still be December 5, 2022 elections,” he said.
“Siyempre hanggat walang sinasabi ang Korte Suprema, the effectiveness of the law will have to proceed. So kung ano ‘yung batas na ‘yun, ‘yun po ang magtutuloy-tuloy sa kasalukuyan,” he added.
(As long as the Supreme Court hasn't said anything, the effectiveness of the law will have to proceed. What is stated in the law will continue.)
Comelec spokesperson Atty. John Rex Laudiangco told GMA News Online that they have not yet heard any information from the Supreme Court on whether there is anyone who has already filed a TRO against the 2022 BSKE postponement. — RSJ, GMA News