The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Palawan has asked Puerto Princesa City to provide possible measures to implement a liquor and gun ban during the plebiscite day as the canvassing area will be held at the provincial legislative building which is located in its center.
During the online Kapihan on Thursday initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), COMELEC Palawan spokesperson Jomel Ordas said a meeting was held recently where the city government offered possible assistance during the plebiscite day on March 13.
This, even as COMELEC deputy executive director for operations Teopisto E. Elnas, Jr. said in a separate press conference on February 11 that Puerto Princesa will not be covered by the gun ban, being a separate entity from the province.
COMELEC information officer Jomel Ordas said they have asked the city government to legislate specific local measures to implement the restrictions.
“Located sa Puerto Princesa City ang activities natin. Kaya lang ang Comelec ay hindi maisama ang Puerto Princesa City sa isang resolution dahil walang legal basis dahil hindi sila covered ng plebisito. Ang Comelec ay nagsabi sa city government, kay mayor [Bayron] na baka pwede sila maglegislate ng measure para maimplement ito—ibang restrictions sa pagdadala ng baril at liquor ban,” Ordas said.
Earlier, the COMELEC clarified that the Puerto Princesa City will have no participation in the event. Voters in the city are not allowed to participate in the voting.
“Wala ang CBOC (City Board of Canvassers) kasi hindi kasama ang city sa plebiscite. Mayroon lang tayong PBOC and MBOC [o] ang tawag natin ngayon ay Provincial Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (PPBOC) at Municipal Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (MPBOC). Since hindi covered ang city [ay] wala silang participation dito sa plebiscite,” he added.
Ordas said the PPBOC will convene at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall in Puerto Princesa City as the venue for the March 13 plebiscite canvassing not later than 6 o’clock in the afternoon of the day to receive returns.
“[Sa] Section 75 of Resolution No. 10687, revised rules and regulations in the governing the conduct of Palawan plebiscite promulgated on Dec 16, 2020, sinasabi d’yan na magco-convene at magca-canvass ang PPBOC, (the same) venue kung saan nag-canvass para sa May 13, 2019, NLE,” Ordas said.