DILG: Clarify barangay execs' role in Cha-cha signature drive

DILG to Comelec: Clarify barangay execs’ role in Cha-cha signature drive

/ 02:45 PM January 22, 2024

DILG to Comelec: Clarify barangay execs' role in Cha-cha signature drive


MANILA, Philippines — Can barangay officials participate in partisan political activities such as signature campaigns to amend the 1987 Constitution? Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said they have no position on the matter yet.

In a press conference on Monday, Abalos said that he had asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for guidance regarding the involvement of village officials in the signature campaign for a people’s initiative. 


“Sumulat kami sa Comelec para klaruhin ang isyung ito…ang issue nito [ay] tungkol sa role ng mga barangay captains on partisan political activity. Kasama na po rito ang people’s initiative,” Abalos said.


 (We asked the Comelec to clarify this issue – about the role of barangay captains in partisan political activites – including the people’s initiative.)

According to Abalos, two separate documents from the Comelec show conflicting details on the prohibitions against village officials’ participation in partisan activities.

Abalos pointed out that a Comelec en banc resolution dated April 8, 2022, exempts village officials from the prohibition under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.

A Comelec Joint Circular from 2016, however, contradicts this exemption, Abalos said.

“Dahil po dito, we wrote a letter right now to Chairman George [Garcia] asking him kung ano po ang magiging posisyon dito dahil sila po ang magveverify dito,” said Abalos, noting that Comelec will be the one to validate the signatures gathered for the people’s initiative.

(Because of this, we wrote a letter right now to Chairman George [Garcia] asking him what our position would be regarding this because they are the one who will verify it.)


He also clarified that DILG Undersecretary Chito Valmocina’s previous statements regarding village officials’ involvement in the signature campaign do not reflect the department’s official position.

“I just want to clarify that what he said about this is his own opinion. This is not the official stand or position of the DILG,” Abalos said in Filipino. 

 On January 20, Valmocina warned barangay officials about participating in the signature drive, saying that they should not campaign for nor comment on the matter.

The signature campaign for amending the Constitution via people’s initiative is spearheaded by a pro-Charter change private group which has previously expressed interest in a a unicameral government.

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TAGS: Barangay, Cha-cha, Comelec, DILG

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