Activity guidelines for barangay, SK polls revised; House sets hearing on deferment

August 13, 2017 - 7:12 PM
Comelec facade emblem
The Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila. FILE IMAGE BY INTERAKSYON

MANILA – The House Suffrage committee is set to hold a hearing Monday (Aug. 14) on the October 23 barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan elections, which administration allies want reset.

At least five bills resetting the holding of the Oct. 23 elections will be tackled by the House panel, chaired by Rep. Sherwin Tugna.

This, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) made minor changes in the Calendar of Activities for the Oct. 23 exercise, for which the poll body also started printing of ballots last week, on the premise that the deferment might not be legislated in time, and the poll body will have to go ahead with it as mandated by law.

In Resolution No. 10191, promulgated on Aug. 11, the Commission en banc particularly amended the provisions on certifying and sealing of the list of voters and the last day of posting the computerized voter’s list.

“Whereas, due to the supervening events, there is a need to revise the calendar of activities mainly on: 1) the last day for the Election Registration Board (ERB) certify and seal the List of Voters for the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections; and 2) the last day to post the barangay and sangguniang kabataan Computerized Voter’s List (CVL). Sec. 30, R.A. 8189 in relation to Sec. 29, R.A. 6646.,” the Comelec said.

At the same time, the poll body said “the rest of the activities shall remain as scheduled.”

This, as the election period would still be from Sept. 23 up to Oct. 30.

Prohibited during the election period are the alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons; use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates; and coercing, threatening, intimidating, or terrorizing any election official or employee in the performance of his election functions or duties.

Also prohibited: the transfer or detail officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers; organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces or similar forces; and suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer.

Filing, campaign period

On the other hand, the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for aspirants in the village and youth polls will be from Sept. 23 to Sept. 30 while the campaign period is set for Oct. 13 until Oct. 21.

The prohibited acts during the campaign period include removing, destroying, obliterating, defacing, tampering or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda; making any donation or gift in cash or in kind; appointing or using special policemen, special/confidential agents or the like; and using armored land, water or air craft.

Also prohibited are cases of policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards of public official or candidates; construction or maintenance of barangay funded roads and bridges; and appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, giving salary increases, remuneration or privileges.

On the eve of Election Day, Oct. 22, and on Election Day, the poll body has prohibited campaigning. It is also prohibited to sell, furnish, offer, but, serve or take intoxicating liquor; and giving, accepting free transportation, food, drinks and things of value.

On Oct. 23, all polling precincts nationwide will accept voters starting from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

On the other hand, winning and losing candidates have until Nov. 22 to file Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).

On Wednesday, the Comelec started the printing of the more than 77 million official ballots for the October polls. They are looking to finish the printing in just 35 days.

There have been moves to postpone the barangay and SK polls but no law has been passed in Congress that will postpone the electoral exercises.