(News dispatch from PacMan FM Radio interview in Gensan)
The Commission on Elections has advised the voters of General Santos City and the rest of the South Cotabato 1st district of the postponement of their congressional elections. That means despite the printing already of the ballots, they will not vote for any of the three candidates that have filed their certificate of candidacies for the post this coming May 13 midterm polls.
Instead, they will have to wait until November this year Comelec 12 Regional Director Atty. Renato Magbutay said. “So ganoon ang mangyari, there will be a postponement of elections. It will be postponed sometime in November 2019,” Magbutay told the Gensan based PacMan FM radio.
He advised the supposed candidates for congressmen of the district to already refrain from campaigning. “So ang advise natin sa mga kandidato, refrain muna ng campaign po.” The postponement of elections came as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte already signed into law Republic Act (R.A. 11243) which created the 3rd legislative of South Cotabato province.
The bill was approved in the Senate through the large effort of Sen. Manny Pacquiao after a counterpart measure was also made in the lower house. The 3rd district would already make General Santos City a lone congressional district while the three towns of Polomolok, Tupi, and Tampakan will remain as the 1st district. Based on the law, the incumbent lawmaker of the 1st district, Rep. Pedro Acharon will be on a hold-over until the election of the new congressman.
If the election has not been postponed, the voters would have to choose on Gensan Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles, former Gensan City councilor Atty. Arturo Cloma and Atty. Menchie Dinopol-Cataluna, an erstwhile Davao City councilor who already went back to General Santos City.
The postponement of congressional elections in South Cotabato 1st district is also the same with the election of congressman for Southern Leyte as the province has already been divided into two congressional districts from being a lone district. Maasin City will comprise the 1st district and the municipalities of Macrohon, Padre Burgos, Limasawa, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus, and Bontoc.
The 2nd district includes the towns of Sogod, Libagon, Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan, San Ricardo, Saint Bernard, Anahawan, San Juan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan, and Silago. (with iNews.Ph research)