Govt stops printing ballots for barangay, youth polls as Bautista fails to sign deal


THE printing of ballots for the coming village (barangay) and youth elections in October has been stopped by the National Printing Office (NPO) because of the alleged failure of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista to sign a memorandum of agreement with state-run firm, an official said on Sunday.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon revealed this on Twitter and on radio although but Bautista quickly denied her allegations.

Guanzon said that the Comelec has to continue with its preparations until Congress has come out with an amendatory law postponing the twin polls to a later date.

The printing of ballots started early August.

Bautista said, however, that there was no MOA yet because the Comelec en banc approval on the cost of printing was only submitted last Tuesday.

Measures to move the date of the barangay and youth elections are pending in both Houses of Congress although President Rodrigo Duterte has called for their postponement, claiming that drug traders were using local officials to peddle the illegal substances.

Bautista is currently embroiled in controversy involving his estranged wife and his alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Bautista has denied his wife’s accusations. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL



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