Comelec to hold elections in Southern Leyte, South Cotabato on October 26

MANILA, Philippines – The Commissions of Elections (Comelec) has announced that it will hold the first elections for congressional representatives in newly created districts in Southern Leyte and South Cotabato on October 26, 2019.

"Pursuant to Resolution No. 10551, the first regular elections will be conducted on October 26, 2019 for the representative of the first and second legislative districts of Southern Leyte, and the first and third (lone) legislative districts of South Cotabato," Comelec said.

Elections for Southern Leyte and South Cotabato come after President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law separate measures creating new congressional districts in the respective areas.

Republic Act No. 11198, which was signed in February, divided Southern Leyete into two congressional districts. Republic Act No. 11243, signed in March, carved General Santos City out of South Cotabato's first district. This made General Santos the province's third legislative district.

Why the later date for elections? Comelec said it suspended elections in Southern Leyte and South Cotabato to a later date "considering the new districts were created only months before the 2019 midterm elections."

The midterm elections were held on May 13.

For those eyeing posts: The poll body said political parties can submit a new list of authorized signatories and specimen signatures before the Comelec Law Department by August 15, 2019.

Certificates of candidacy (COCs) for district representatives should be filed with their respective Offices of the Provincial Supervisor from August 26 to August 28.

The last day for filing of requests for correction to names appearing on the ballot will be on September 11. Substitute candidates have until September 18 to file their requests for substitution.

For substitution of candidates due to withdrawal, new candidates must file COCs no later than September 16.

In cases of death or disqualification by final judgment, the substitute who shall bear the same surname as the substituted candidate may file a COC up to midday of election day. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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