Comelec starts listup of barangay candidates
Aspirants for the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections may submit their certificates of candidacy beginning Aug. 28 until Sept. 2 at local offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Candidates, however, cannot start campaigning until Oct. 19. The official campaign period will end on Oct. 28.
The gun ban, which prohibits carrying firearms and deadly weapons in public unless authorized in writing by the Comelec, will also start on Aug. 28 and last until Nov. 29, which is the official election period.
The ban against the use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates, against raising funds through dances, lotteries and cockfights, and against the transfer or detail of government personnel, including public school teachers, will also start on Aug. 28.
Earlier, Comelec Chair George Garcia warned barangay and SK candidates against “premature campaigning,” including putting up posters that do not explicit ask for votes.
“Once they have filed their certificate of candidacy, they should not give the excuse [that their campaign materials] do not say, ‘vote.’ Their purpose is to introduce themselves and to influence the public. Under the law, that is considered directly or indirectly trying to influence voters,” Garcia said in an interview on Wednesday.
“They have to remove [these materials] even in social media,” he added.
Garcia also warned that Comelec will also hold accountable candidates who are endorsed by illegal campaign posters put up in private properties.
“In accordance with a previous Supreme Court ruling, we cannot go after private properties. But [as to] the candidates whose faces are plastered in private properties, we will send them notices,” he warned.
“If they cannot convince the owners of the private properties to comply with the campaign guidelines, we will file charges against the candidates,” Garcia warned.
Garcia was referring to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in “Timbol v. Comelec” that nullified Comelec’s authority to remove illegal campaign materials posted by noncandidates on their private properties without due notice and hearing.
According to Comelec, there are 67,839,776 registered voters who are at least 18 years old who may vote in the barangay elections.
Meanwhile there are 23,254,313 registered voters who are 15 to 17 years old who may only vote in the SK elections.
The country has 42,027 barangays in 148 cities and 1,486 municipalities.
Each barangay will have one barangay captain and seven barangay council members, and one SK chairperson and seven SK council members.
While barangay and SK leaders are supposed to serve a term of only three years, the last elections were held in 2018 due to several postponements ordered by Congress.
Last June, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the latest postponement of the barangay and SK elections from its original schedule on Dec. 5, 2022, to Oct. 30, 2023. INQ