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No sked yet for Surigao Norte special elections, says COMELEC-Caraga

The Commission on Elections Caraga regional office here today said they have not received order so far from Comelec central office Manila to conduct Surigao del Norte provincial special elections after Supreme Court issued an En Banc Notice dated January 11, 2011 signed and released on January 26, 2011 by Enriqueta E. Vidal, Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court granting Motion for Execution of Judgment declaring R.A. 9355 or an Act creating the Province of Dinagat Islands unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court also grant under paragraph (g) on that same en banc notice directing the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a “Special Elections” as soon as possible for all affected positions in the Province of Surigao del Norte and enjoining the respondents and other respective counsels from further submitting new and/or additional pleadings under pain of contempt of court, in view of the finality of its decision.

But COMELEC Caraga Assistant Regional Director Atty. Roland Edayan told THE STAR their office has not yet received order to conduct special elections neither schedule and funding to do so.

Edayan claimed that as far as he is concerned he has not yet received copy of the Supreme Court en banc notice declaring the En Banc Supreme Court resolution executory and final.

Last May 18, 2010, the Supreme Court en banc issued resolution declaring law creating Dinagat islands province as null and void because it was not able to meet requirements provided by law.

Prior to May 10, 2010 elections, COMELEC en banc issued Resolution 8790 saying “if Supreme Court will finally issue resolution with finality and execution that law creating Dinagat province is null and void the result of the elections in affected areas will be considered Null and Void too”.

Thus special elections will be conducted for the positions of Governor, Vice Governor, Member of House of Representative including Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in District 1 Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands”.

Former Surigao del Norte Board Member Atty. Victor Bernal who is one of the petitioners in a phone interview told THE STAR that he felt so vindicated with the Supreme Court finally resolved the prolonged court debate on their petition filed under G.R. No.180050 (Rodolfo Navarro, et.al. vs. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, et.al.)

Bernal with two others, former Vice Governor Rodolfo Navarro and former Board Member Rene Medina filed petition before High Tribunal declaring the law creating Dinagat Islands province unconstitutional.

“All the discussions on these case is over and no other further pleadings and discussions will be entertained as Supreme Court declares its finality”, Bernal said.

“We are all vindicated and happy with this decision”, he added.

Bernal disclosed “it is clearly stated in this En Banc Notice that the Supreme Court also made a direct order to the COMELEC to conduct a Special Election as soon as possible.”

Bernal also stressed further that it is also logical and precise for the DILG to appoint new officials in acting capacity to serve as caretakers while waiting for the schedule of the special election. (Ben Serrano)

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