Election period for village, youth polls starts April 14

MANILA The election period for the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls will start on Saturday, April 14 and end on May 21.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the period covers the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) by candidates and the start of the nationwide gun ban.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the COCs may be filed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 14-20 at the Office of the Election Officer in the city or municipality where the candidate is running.

COCs are available at all local Comelec offices nationwide. Forms may also be downloaded at the Comelec website at www.comelec.gov.ph, Jimenez said.

Voters will elect a punong barangay (village chairman) and seven members of the Sangguniang Barangay (village council), as well as a chairperson and seven members of the SK (youth council) for every barangay.

Village candidates need to meet the following qualifications: a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the Barangay where he intends to be elected; a resident there for at least one year immediately preceding the day of the election; able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect; and at least 18 years of age on election day.

Meanwhile, candidates for the youth polls need to meet the following qualifications: a citizen of the Philippines; a qualified voter of the Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK); a resident of the barangay for not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the elections; at least 18 years but not more than 24 years of age on the day of the elections; able to read and write Filipino, English or the local dialect; must not have been convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude; and must not be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality, where he or she seeks to be elected.

Jimenez reminded that during the election period, the carrying and transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, as well as the availing or engaging the services of security personnel or bodyguards will be strictly prohibited.

At 12:01 a.m. of April 14, the ban will take effect and the setting up of checkpoints will commence, he said.

Exempted from the gun ban are regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other government law enforcement agencies duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty.

Jimenez, however, noted that the deputized law enforcement officer must be in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times.

The law enforcement officer should also be in actual performance of his election duty in the specific area designated by the Commission, he said.

There shall also be at least one Comelec checkpoint in each city/municipality with additional checkpoints only being established in coordination with the election officer.

All application or requirements for gun ban exemptions shall be filed with the Comelec-Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel at the Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador building in Intramuros, Manila.

Also prohibited during the election period are maintaining strike forces; transfer of officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers; suspension of elective provincial, city, municipal, or barangay officials; alteration or creation of a territory or a precinct; and coercing or terrorizing any election official or employee in the function of his official functions.

Source: Philippine News Agency