Provincial Election Supervisor Jessie Suarez yesterday said he is giving three days to the two congressional candidates of the fifth district of Negros Occidental to remove their campaign materials posted in areas not authorized by the Comelec.
Otherwise, Suarez said, they will be the ones to remove the campaign materials, and submit them to the Comelec law department for proper disposition.
The notice to remove the campaign materials has already been sent by the provincial Comelec office to the concerned candidates.
Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirason and his nephew, Board Member Emilio Yulo III, are vying for the 5th district congressional seat, that was declared vacant by Congress, following the death of Rep. Ignacio Arroyo on Jan. 26 in London.
Yulo said he has already ordered his supporters to remove his campaign materials posted in non-designated areas, in compliance with the Comelec order.
The 15-day campaign period, that started May 16, will end midnight of May 31.
Suarez said they will invite Mirasol and Yulo to the signing of peace covenant on May 28 at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City.
The United Negros Alliance headed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and the Liberal Party are supporting the congressional bid of Mirasol, while the Nacionalista Party supports Yulo.
Suarez said the official ballots are expected to arrive in Negros Occidental on May 28, four days before the June 2 special elections. He also said some Comelec commissioners are also expected to inspect the polling precincts in the 5th district.
He said he expects the counting of ballots to be finished before midnight of June 2.
If Mirasol wins in the special election, Suarez said the vice-mayor and the number one councilor, respectively, will assume the positions of mayor and vice-mayor, with the vacancy of the position of councilor to be decided by the party.
If Yulo is elected, his post as board member may be left vacant, as the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the May 2013 elections will be on Oct. 1 to 5, he added.
Even if there is a pre-proclamation protest, Suarez said they will proceed with the proclamation of the winning candidate, explaining that pre-proclamation controversies, under the Comelec rules, apply only to local candidates, and not for those running for national positions.
Meanwhile, Yulo, meanwhile, said he was saddened that the distribution of financial assistance to deserving students in the 5th district, which he described as a very laudable program, was muddled by politics.
He said he has no opposition to it, but the distribution was done during the election period, and this should be looked into by the Comelec. * GPB