The widow of the late Palawan 3rd district representative Edward Hagedorn, Ma. Elena Hagedorn, has appealed to the House of Representatives to call for a special election in the congressional district.

In a letter addressed to Congress, Hagedorn said that the existing vacancy in the 3rd district and the recent passing of Rep. Edgardo Salvame of the 1st District is has led to a crisis in “public service”.

“It is, to us, tantamount to a crisis in public service and genuine representation that we have yet to elect their successors to date,” Hagedorn said.

“The essence of the House of Representatives is for the needs and concerns of residents of every congressional district to be represented and addressed in a direct and immediate manner through their elected leaders,” she said.

Mrs. Hagedorn asserted there is legal basis to hold a special election, and echoed recent pronouncements from the Commission on Elections (Comelec)

“The seats of the Honorables Hagedorn and Salvame were vacated more than a year before the next elections in May 2025, and are therefore eligible to be filled through special elections, in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 6645,” she said.

“Based on a live public interview during a press conference on February 12, 2024 in Puerto Princesa, Commission on Elections Chairman George Erwin M. Garcia informed the voters of Palawan’s 3rd District that the commission had the necessary budget and resources to conduct a special election for a new representative” she added.

Hagedorn said all it takes  for the process to get started is an official communication from the House of Representatives to declare a vacancy and call for a special election.

In support of the plea, House Resolution 1661, filed by CIBAC partylist representative Eduardo Villanueva, seeks to certify the existence of a vacancy in the House of Representatives for Palawan’s 3rd District and calls on the Commission on Elections to conduct a special election to fill the vacancy.

She also urged the 19th Congress to prioritize the passage of HR 1661, ensuring the commitment of Congress to a fully functional and vibrant democracy.

She added that a petition containing signatures of residents of Puerto Princesa and Aborlan in support of the plea for a special election has been submitted to Congress.