PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: The days of Mayor Lucilo Bayron may be numbered after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally approved the holding of a recall election in this city.
Growing discontent over Bay–ron’s alleged “misgovernance” in the affairs of
Puerto Princesa City, the rising crime rate and “drastic drop” in tourist arrivals were cited as the reasons behind the petition against the local official made by several local groups in December.
The petitioners managed to gather 40,409 signatures or 21,074 more than the required 19,335 signatures for a recall poll to take place. The petition was signed on March 12.
Although no date for the actual election has been set, the Co–melec said the petition against Baylon is “sufficient” in form and substance and this will be published in Puerto Princesa City and in a “newspaper of national circulation” in the next three weeks.
Afterwards, Bayron will be given 20 days to question the authenticity of the petition before Comelec sets the actual date of the election as provided by Republic Act 9244 passed in 2004 by the 12th Congress.
The poll body, in Resolution No. 9864 dated April 1, 2014, upheld the recommendation of lawyer Bartolome Sino Cruz Jr., deputy executive director for operations, who reviewed the petition against Bayron.
However, Comelec said the verification of the signatures in the petition might be temporarily suspended “due to the lack of funds.” But James Jimenez, Comelec spokesperson, said that this should not be an issue.