Marawi, Abra soon under 'Comelec control'

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Sheriff Abas on Tuesday, May 3, confirmed that the poll body has already "approved in principle" the placing of Marawi City and Abra under Comelec control.

Abas said the Comelec has yet to formalize this in a resolution.

"Most likely maa-approve naman 'yun," he said. (Most likely it will be approved.)

Abas explained that Marawi has always been "problematic ever since" in terms of violence. He cited shooting incidents there that affected a mayor and a candidate for governor.

"Intense talaga 'yan," he said. (That's really intense.)


The Comelec earlier placed under its control the town of Pantar in Lanao del Norte. 

Firearms banned

Places under Comelec control fall under "the immediate and direct control and supervision" of the Comelec because of violence and "serious armed threats," among other things.

Comelec Resolution 10074 states that the Comelec has the following powers:

Abas said that the poll body totally prohibits firearms in areas under Comelec control. No exemption is allowed.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon earlier noted that in places under Comelec control, the poll body also has the power to "take over the administrative control of disbursement of public funds."

She said the election officers "will be assigned to represent the commission in these areas under Comelec control." –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at