Comelec rejects recall petition vs Bulacan governor

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed the recall petition against Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado. 

In a resolution promulgated on Wednesday, April 22, the Comelec said the petition initiated by Perlita Mendoza failed to meet the required number of valid signatures to push for recall elections.

The Comelec listed only 138,506 valid signatures. This "fell short" of the required number of valid signatures before the Comelec holds recall elections.

The poll body classified 181,201 signatures as invalid. 

To hold recall elections, Comelec requires signatures equivalent to 10% of the voting population. The Comelec says Bulacan has 1,830,698 registered voters, which means the valid signatures for recall elections should reach around 183,069.

The Comelec, however, said that even if the petition reached the required number of valid signatures, the recall election "may not possibly push through for a lack of time to prepare for the elections."

Based on the Local Government Code, the recall elections should happen on or before May 8, 2015, or a year before the 2016 elections.

A mechanism as important as the regular elections, the process of recall gives the people the power to remove elected officials on the grounds of losing the people's confidence and trust. (READ: Recall elections: Comelec's mandate unfunded under Aquino)

Based on the Local Government Code, the power of recall for loss of confidence in a local elective official shall be exercised by registered voters of the local government unit where the official serves. Any provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official may be subjected to recall. 

In Puerto Princesa, Palawan, for instance, the Comelec is set to conduct recall elections on May 8. Voters will then decide whether to replace Mayor Lucilo Bayron. – with a report from Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

image