CABANATUAN CITY – A top official of the League of Provinces of the Philippines has sought the abolition of the elections, saying that the tenure of local officials are short, anyway.
“It makes sense to review the recall law. Anyway, there is an election every three years, so why recall? Why not wait for the next election?” said Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio M. Umali, LPP executive vice president.
He added that more than a review of the laws on recall elections as proposed by Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista, it would be more practical to do away with the recall process given that all local officials serve only for a very short period of three years.
Umali, a lawyer, was reacting to the pronouncements of Bautista that the Comelec is considering changes to the laws on recall elections or the process of removing elected local officials.
The LPP is an organization composed of 80 provinces in the country.
Bautista earlier stressed the need to amend the provisions on recall polls, noting the brief term of elected local officials, who only have three years in office.
Umali said the three years of locally elected officials are mostly spent on feeling out period on the first year, project implementation on the second year and election preparation on the third year.
The Local Government Code mandates that a recall election cannot be held within one year from the date of the official’s assumption into office. It also stipulates that there can be no recall elections within one year immediately preceding a regular local election.
Umali acknowledged that recall is a valid and legal democratic process although from a practical point of view, holding recall polls may have been deemed irrelevant by the fact that time is too short for such a process.
He cited the case of former Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn who ran against but lost to the incumbent, Mayor Lucilo Bayron.