Pick doers during past crises, House reps urge voters in barangay, SK polls | Inquirer News

Pick doers during past crises, House reps urge voters in barangay, SK polls

POLL PREPARATIONS Supplies and paraphernalia for the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are distributed on Saturday in Quezon City. —PHOTO BY LYN RILLON

POLL PREPARATIONS | Supplies and paraphernalia for the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are distributed on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Quezon City. (Photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Several lawmakers on Saturday made a final appeal to voters ahead of Monday’s nationwide village polls to choose barangay and youth leaders who had been consistently providing public service, particularly at the time when the nation was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 1.41 million candidates are vying for the 672,432 posts in the Oct. 30 elections.


Bohol Rep. Kristine Alexie Tutor pointed out that incumbent officials had been holding their posts for five years — beyond their three-year term — because the polls had been postponed.


“Voters should ask themselves if these incumbents deserve to be retained or replaced,” she said. If they choose others, the replacements should be “capable and competent, and are advocates of justice and anticorruption.”

Tutor, chair of the House civil service and professional regulation panel, said the elections would be the “best time” to keep the incumbents who performed well during the past years, especially those who were consistently active in public service while the pandemic ravaged the country.

“It is also time to exclude from voting ballots those who were not there when the community needed them most—the ones who only became active when they were preparing to campaign for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in recent weeks,” she said.

Tutor said that “no amount of vote buying, drinking sprees, and personal gifts should sway voters to vote for bad candidates, especially the incompetents and those engaged in corruption, injustice, and suspicious activities.”

Share of taxes

Barangay Health Workers Rep. Angelica Natasha Co said Filipinos should pick candidates who went beyond “traditional, personality-based campaigning” and made voters aware of laws that would benefit them if these are implemented at the barangay level.

Among these laws are the One Town One Product Act; the National Cultural Heritage Act which includes local cultural mapping and preservation of cultural sites; the New Agrarian Emancipation Act which condoned P58 billion worth of debts of more than 610,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries; and the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials Act.


Co added that voters should also find out what their barangay’s share was in the national tax allotment for next year, which is pegged at P174.27 billion for about 42,000 barangays in the 2024 national budget.

For Senior Citizens Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, the Filipino elderly should pick candidates “with real programs and education” needed for good barangay governance.

“I hope my fellow senior citizens will listen and scrutinize the platforms of candidates. It’s not enough that a candidate is a relative, friend, or acquaintance. A candidate should be competent and capable,” said Ordanes, chair of the House senior citizens committee.

Cases pending vs 245 bets

There are around 91.09 million registered voters for Monday’s polls. About 23.25 million of the voters who are aged 15 to 30 years old can elect members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK). Voters aged 15 to 17 can vote only for members of the SK while those aged 18 to 30 can vote for both SK and barangay officials.

The country has 42,001 barangays in 149 cities and 1,485 municipalities. Each barangay will elect one barangay chair and seven members of his council, plus one SK chair and seven youth council members.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has served notice through Minute Resolution No. 23-0730 that it had instructed the board of canvassers not to proclaim candidates with pending election cases.

As of Oct. 25, there are 245 such candidates, whose proclamation, should they win, would be suspended while their cases have not been resolved by the Comelec en banc.

Of the 245 candidates, five are charged with vote-buying; 173 with premature campaigning; 37 with possible administrative cancellation; and 30 with motion for reconsideration for various violations.

Warning to canvassers

Comelec Chair George Garcia on Saturday said the poll body had instructed the barangay board of canvassers on how to temporarily nullify the victory of erring candidates — by denying due course to those with pending petitions, canceling their certificates of candidacy, disqualifying or declaring them as nuisance candidates.

In a “very urgent memorandum” dated Oct. 27, Comelec executive director Teopisto Elnas Jr. said the board of canvassers should not write the names of winning candidates with unresolved cases in the certificate of canvass and proclamation.

“Instead, indicate the phrase ‘proclamation suspended pursuant to Minute Resolution No. 23-0730,’” Elnas said.

He warned that members of the board of canvassers who ignored the notice from Comelec and proclaimed suspended winners may be held administratively and criminally liable.

If all the winning candidates in the barangay have pending petitions, they should not be replaced by the next in rank, Elnas said.

The inadvertent proclamation of a candidate should be treated as “void ab initio,” or invalid from the start, he added.

‘Peaceful,’ ‘respectful’

Last week, the seven-member Comelec en banc formally approved Garcia’s proposal to suspend the proclamation of candidates with pending cases.

Garcia said the 10-day campaign period ending on Saturday was “generally peaceful” as most candidates were “respectful toward their opponents” and followed campaign rules.

Comelec reported at least 25 incidents of election-related violence — 10 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; three each in Ilocos and Northern Mindanao regions; two each in the Cordillera, Bicol, and Central Visayas regions; and one each in Calabarzon, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The Philippine National Police deployed thousands of officers in various provinces for poll duty in Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).

The Central Luzon Police Regional Office (PRO 3) sent off 10,000 officers on Saturday.

The PRO3 said in a statement that personnel assigned to desk duties or on schooling were reassigned to voting centers “to optimize deployment and bolster the security presence at polling precincts.”

The Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) said 9,480 police officers will be deployed to voting centers, canvassing areas, and other Comelec-designated places.

In addition, 1,722 personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Municipal and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, and the Public Order and Safety Office were deployed to the region.

At least 311 persons were also arrested in Calabarzon for violating the gun ban and carrying deadly weapons from Aug. 28 to Oct. 28, the PRO-4A reported.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The gun ban will remain in effect until Nov. 29.

TAGS: 2023 barangay elections

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.