Filing of candidacies, gun ban as barangay, SK election period kicks off

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:

Meanwhile, candidates for SK chairperson and members should be:

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.

CHECKPOINT. Members of the Manila Police District and Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez (not in picture) set up a checkpoint in front of the Manila City Hall on April 13, 2018, the eve of the first day of the election period for the barangay and SK polls.

Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Gun ban

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. –

Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.