THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will revise its rules and procedures on electoral protest for local positions to speed up the process that normally takes years to resolve.

Commissioner George Erwin Garcia, a former election lawyer, said on Wednesday that under the existing rules and regulations, there were a lot of election cases that were not resolved at all because the local official has already finished serving his or her three-year term in office.

He explained that the guidelines is an overdue process that needs to be revised so that the cases will continue to move forward despite the exchanges of motions and counter motions and other legal procedures as outlined by the Comelec rules.

Garcia also pointed out that an electoral protest is not only time-consuming but also expensive, particularly on the side of the protestant who has to shoulder the expenses of transporting the ballot boxes to the Comelec main office in Manila.

He noted a local official has only three years in office, which is not enough to resolve an electoral protest, considering the long and tedious legal process that needs to be followed.

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"A local official has only a three-year term. When a protest is filed, it will already take a year just to collect the ballot boxes, another year for the revision of ballots and a third year for the presentation of evidence," Garcia said.

He added that in such a scenario, the subject of the protest has already served his or her three-year term in office which automatically renders the case "moot and academic."

"Why bring the ballot boxes here in Manila? Why not in the place where the alleged electoral violation was committed? Why file a protest and spend a fortune if you already lose? These are the changes that we need," he said.

Garcia said there were 30 electoral protests pending before the Comelec Legal Department in connection with the just-concluded national and local elections.

With the changes, the Comelec is hopeful that all 30 cases will be resolved soonest.

The Comelec only handles electoral protests involving local officials or the governor and vice governor and provincial board members, and city and town mayors, vice mayors and members of the city council and municipal council.

The Supreme Court en banc, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, handles the protest for president and vice president, while the Senate handles protest against senators and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal for congressmen.