Some 4,000 candidates running unopposed | Inquirer News

Some 4,000 candidates running unopposed

/ 05:20 AM October 30, 2023

EXPLAINER: Latest Comelec order on candidates with pending cases

INQUIRER file and stock photos.

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Some 4,000 candidates for the posts of barangay captain and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairperson only have to vote themselves to win, since they are running unopposed.

Based on the data of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), at least 2,024 candidates for barangay captain and 2,263 candidates for SK chairperson in the Visayas are running unopposed.


Among the barangay candidates, there are 650 aspirants vying for the top post in the different villages in Western Visayas. In Central Visayas there are 511 unopposed candidates, and in Eastern Visayas, 863.


For the position of SK chairperson, 645 candidates in Western Visayas, 554 in Central Visayas, and 1,064 in Eastern Visayas face no contenders.

In Masbate province in the Bicol region, all 36 barangay candidates in one town, Cataingan, are running without challengers.

According to Comelec’s Bicol director Maria Juana Valeza, there were at least two candidates in each village in Cataingan until all the challengers withdrew their certificates of candidacy (COCs).


She said: “The last [withdrawal] was yesterday [Saturday], leaving the other remaining candidates unopposed.”

Based on Comelec’s data, Masbate had 49 withdrawals for village chief, the highest among the six provinces in Bicol, followed by 10 in Albay, nine in Catanduanes, seven in Sorsogon, four in Camarines Norte and three in Camarines Sur.

For the post of village councilor, 74 candidates in Masbate withdrew their COCs, together with 66 in Albay, 43 in Camarines Sur, 42 in Sorsogon, 25 in Catanduanes, and 17 in Camarines Norte.


Ansbert Son, chief of staff and spokesperson for Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho, said the governor had talked to the candidates to resolve their political differences.

“He talked to them if they can have unified political forces in the barangay. Those who will withdraw will help the candidate left, but they will be supported [in] the next election [should they decide to run], so we have what we call power-sharing,” Son said at a press conference on Saturday.

He said Cataingan has been Kho’s bailiwick for almost three decades, adding that most of the leaders there were his allies.

Valeza said: “There is no law, even under the Omnibus Election Code, that prohibits this kind of arrangement.”

Conduct of elections

Residents of the different villages in the country will cast their votes in today’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

The conduct of the polls has been a growing public concern following reports of irregularities and election-related violence in the run-up to today’s elections.

In Negros Oriental, a special task force had imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. on Saturday to 4 a.m. on Sunday, and again from 10 p.m. on Sunday to 4 a.m. on Monday, to prevent violence and vote-buying.

But 212 persons have been apprehended for violating the curfew, although they were all released at 5 a.m. on Sunday, said Lt. Stephen Jaynard Polinar of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office.

Ballots and other election paraphernalia will be delivered earlier than usual to more than 100 critical areas in the province, which has been placed under Comelec control.

Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard would assist the police and military in delivering these materials and securing the safety of the teachers tasked with supervising the polls.

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Negros Oriental has become a known hot spot after the murder of its governor, Roel Degamo, right in his own home in Pamplona town on March 4. Nine others were also killed in that attack.

TAGS: 2023 barangay elections, unopposed candidates

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