MANILA — Despite plans to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released the calendar of activities for the said polls.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10177 dated March 28, it has set the election period which will be from September 23 to October 30.
Acts prohibited during the election period include the alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons; use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates; and coercing, threatening, intimidating, or terrorizing any election official or employee in the performance of his election functions or duties.
Also forbidden during the election period are transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service including public school teachers; organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces or similar forces; and suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer.
Likewise, the poll body has set the period for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) from September 23 to 30.
Candidates running for the village and youth posts are allowed to campaign from October 13 to 21.
The Comelec reminded the aspirants that prohibited acts during the campaign period are the following: removing, destroying, obliterating, defacing, tampering or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda; making any donation or gift in cash or in kind; appointing or using special policemen, special/confidential agents or the like; and using armored land, water or air craft.
Also prohibited during the campaign period are: cases of policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards of public official or candidates; construction or maintenance of barangay funded roads and bridges; and appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, giving salary increases, remuneration or privileges.
On the eve of Election Day, Oct. 22, and on Election Day itself, the Comelec said it is prohibited to campaign; sell, furnish, offer, but, serve or take intoxicating liquor; and giving, accepting free transportation, food, drinks and things of value.
On Election Day, all polling precincts nationwide will accept voters starting from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
On the other hand, all candidates have until Nov. 22 to file Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has filed House Bill 5359, which is seeking to postpone the scheduled polls to May 2020.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier proposed to postpone anew the Barangay and SK elections and instead appoint village officials. Ferdinand Patinio/PNA-northboundasia.com