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Comelec Postpones Cabanatuan Plebiscite on December 1

November 29, 2012

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Nov 29 (PIA) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) has postponed the conduct of a plebiscite in Cabanatuan on December 1 that will ratify its conversion from a component to a highly urbanized city (HUC) following several legal uncertainties arising. 

In its Resolution No.9563 promulgated on November 27, the poll body said that it was informed “of the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order by Branch 40 of the Regional Trial Court in Palayan City restricting the appropriation/disbursement of fund for the referendum by the City Council of Cabanatuan and a pending Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Governor Aurelio Umali at the Supreme Court.” 

The resolution further stated that “the commission has decided to hold the plebiscite instead after May 2013 so as not to hamper its preparations for the national and local elections.”

With this, the gun ban earlier imposed by COMELEC in the entire city has now been lifted.

President Benigno Aquino III issued Proclamation No.418 on July 4 after Cabanatuan met all the requirements for such elevation as per the Local Government Code of 1991 including a minimum population of 200,000 as certified by the National Statistics Office, latest income of at least 50 million based on 1991 constant prices as certified by the city treasurer, and an approved resolution of a majority of the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod supporting such move which has been fully endorsed by the city mayor.

Considered the commercial, industrial, and educational hub of Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan was founded as a barrio of Gapan in 1750, became a municipality in 1780, and a city in 1950 by virtue of Republic Act No.526.

In case of approval, it will be the third in Central Luzon to enjoy a HUC status after Angeles in Pampanga and Olongapo in Zambales. (WLB/CLJD-PIA 3)

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