No polls postponement in typhoon-affected towns

Typhoon Pablo in Davao, Dec. 4, 2012. TV5 VIDEOGRAB
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DAVAO CITY - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Davao said elections will push through as scheduled on May 13 in areas hit by typhoon "Pablo" last December.

Comelec assistant regional director Marlon Casquejo said it would be too premature to declare a failure of elections in these areas despite earlier claims that there was such a move.

“So far, we are still within the timeline and we haven't encountered problems yet,” Casquejo said.

Based on the provisions of Omnibus Election Code, declaring a failure of election is an extraordinary remedy that can only be exercised only under three circumstances: the election is not held due to several reasons; the election is suspended; or the election results in a failure to elect.

Among the accepted reasons for not holding an election on the scheduled date include presence of "force majeure," violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes.

In the case of Davao region, the possible grounds for declaring failure of election is the absence of conducive polling precincts since majority of schools in typhoon-hit provinces in the region were severely damaged or still being used as evacuation areas, he said.

Casquejo said elections in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, which were badly hit by the typhoon, will push through no matter what, even if it means tents would be used as polling precincts.