(File photo)

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Palawan is set to reshuffle all its poll officials this month as part of its preparations for the 2019 mid-term elections.

Jomel Ordas, COMELEC Palawan spokesperson, said Thursday that the reassignment of all 24 municipal election officers (EOs) before the end of the month will be temporary.

He said the restructuring is part of their central office’s aim to get rid of doubts on election officials who might have close relationships with the political contenders and to avoid irregularities as some have relatives in their areas of assignment.

“Ngayong January siguro maglalabas na nang order kung saan mapupunta ang mga 24 election officers natin dito sa Palawan. Mandated din kasi ito ng batas natin kaya kailangan during or before the election ay iba na ang may hawak ng area nila (Maybe this January an order will already be issued on where the 24 election officials will be reassigned in Palawan. It is mandated by our law that’s why before or during the election, election officials need to hold other areas),” Ordas said.

In 2016, he said, Atty. Percival Mendoza of Romblon provincial COMELEC took over from Palawan’s Atty. Urbano Arlando who was assigned in Marinduque.

But in this year’s mid-term polls, he said, the reshuffling of the current election officers in the city, municipalities, and province will only be within Palawan.

“Ang mga EO natin mare-reshuffle within Palawan lang [hindi katulad dati]. Ma-assign lang ‘yan sa ibang munisipyo o dito sa city (Unlike before, our EOs will be reshuffled within Palawan only. They will only be assigned in other municipalities or here in the city),” he added.

Meanwhile, the election period and the gun ban will kick off on January 13 up to June 12.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.