THE HOUSE of Representatives will not seek a special election for the Negros Oriental post vacated by former congressman Arnolfo A. Teves, Jr. after his expulsion from Congress, the chamber’s secretary general said on Thursday.  

“A special election may be difficult [to conduct] because of the time constraints,” House Secretary General Reginald S. Velasco told a media briefing.  

He pointed out that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is already busy preparing for the nationwide Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October as well the midterm elections in 2025.  

“We have also informed Comelec officially that there’s a decision from the House on Mr. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., so we will be awaiting their response whether they will call for special election or just leave it at that,” Mr. Velasco said. 

In past instances, the House Speaker either assumes the vacant post as “caretaker” or assigns another member of the chamber to take on the responsibility. 

“I’m sure there’s already a budget for the district [for next year.] That’s the duty of the caretaker, to see that these projects are appropriated and implemented,” said Mr. Velasco. 

Congressmen on Wednesday voted to expel Mr. Teves for his continued absence in Congress and “indecent behavior” shown on social media. Murder charges brought up against him over three killings in his province and his being tagged as a “terrorist” by the government did not help his cause. 

Mr. Teves’ office has received a copy of the House Ethics and Privileges’ Committee Report No. 717 which the House adopted to expel him, according to Mr. Velasco.  

However, the House leadership is yet to decide on who will be the caretaker of the third district of Negros Oriental, which Mr. Teves previously served. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz