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.
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.
Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
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."
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.