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MANILA, Philippines – Election season has begun once again, this time for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
The election period kicked off on Saturday, April 14. Filipinos seeking elective positions in nearly 42,000 barangays nationwide went to local Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices to file their certificates of candidacy (COC) on the first day of filing.
Comelec said their local offices will accept COCs from 8 am to 5 pm until Friday, April 20.
This is the first barangay and SK elections in 5 years, after it was postponed twice by government. However, the polls remain suspended in Marawi City, where rehabilitation efforts are underway following a nearly 5-month clash between government forces and terrorists in 2017.
Candidates for punong barangay (barangay captain) and kagawad (member of the Sangguniang Barangay) must be:
- a Filipino citizen
- at least 18 years old on election day
- able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect
- a registered voter in the barangay where he or she intends to be elected, and
- a resident there for at least one year before the polls
Meanwhile, candidates for SK chairperson and members should be:
- a Filipino citizen
- 18 to 24 years old on election day
- a qualified voter of the Katipunan ng Kabataan
- not related within the 2nd civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or any incumbent elected local official in the locality where he/she seeks to be elected
- able to read and write Filipino, English, or the local dialect
- a resident of the barangay where he/she intends to be elected for at least one year before the polls
- not convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude
One punong barangay, 7 kagawads, one SK chairperson, and 7 SK members will be elected per barangay. Comelec and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier urged voters to elect candidates who are matino, mahusay, at maasahan (decent, excellent, and reliable).
The campaign period for qualified candidates will be from May 4 to 12.
Comelec is imposing a gun ban for the duration of the election period, or from April 14 to May 21.
In a statement, the poll body explained, “During the election period, the bearing, carrying, and transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons and the availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards will be strictly prohibited.”
In Comelec Resolution No. 10197, Comelec listed down the officials, law enforcement officers and agents, and other people who may bear firearms during the election period, pursuant to guidelines.
Other gun owners may secure an exemption from Comelec’s Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP).
Gun ban exemptions may be issued to qualified individuals “who by nature of their official duties, profession, business or occupation, such as but not limited to cashiers, disbursing officers, persons who are under the Witness Protection Program, etc., are considered as high risk individuals.”
Checkpoints will also be set up in each city and town nationwide.
Additional checkpoints, including those coming from Philippine National Police or Armed Forces of the Philippines commands outside the city/municipality “shall be established in coordination with the Election Officer (EO) having jurisdiction over the city/municipality,” the poll body said in Comelec Resolution No. 10198.
Comelec is also implementing other prohibitions during the election and campaign periods. The liquor ban will be in effect from May 13 to 14. – Rappler.com