Namfrel to village polls bets: File your COC early

MANILA An election watchdog has advised those who intend to run in May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls to submit their respective Certificate of Candidacy (COC) ahead of the deadline.

This coming Saturday, April 14, 2018, is the start of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for the Barangay and SK Elections, which is set to be held on May 14, 2018. Until April 20 is the filing, do not wait for the deadline, the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) said in a public advisory posted on its Facebook account.

Likewise, they advised the would-be candidates to coordinate with the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in their area regarding their candidacy.

At the same time, Namfrel urged them to read the requirements and guidelines of the poll body as to the filing of COC.

On the other hand, the Comelec urged the voters to be vigilant, especially against members of political dynasties who would participate in the forthcoming youth polls.

We will need voter vigilance. If anybody knows that they have relatives or family members elected, there is no stopping them from questioning the eligibility of a candidate, said poll body Spokesman James Jimenez in an interview.

He noted that filing a petition against a particular candidate as soon as possible would be the best way to prevent more political dynasties.

We have no choice but to accept the COCs. But that will be the best time for people to contest it immediately, instead of still delaying it, Jimenez said.

The village polls set for next month will be the first in accordance with the implementation of the SK Reform Act of 2015.

Section 10 of the law states that an SK official 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.

This means that one cannot run for an SK post if he/she has a spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, siblings-in-law, grandparents-in-law, and grandchildren-in-law that are elected officials.

Those who will file COCs to run for an SK post will have to declare it under oath the assurance "that aspirant is not 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."

Aside from being disqualified as an SK bet, Jimenez explained that they may also face perjury as well as an election offense for submitting a false or spurious COC.

Other qualifications for those who would like to join the youth polls are being 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; and must not have been convicted by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency