Comelec-8 readies for the May 14 village polls

TACLOBAN CITY- Thousands of candidates for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from the region are to troop to their respective polling offices to file their certificates of candidacy (CoCs) beginning today (April 14) for next month’s balloting.
Those who will file their CoCs for the May 14 elections are those who will run for barangay chairmen and councilors as well as SK chairmen and councilors.
For the regular barangay elections, eligible to run are those from 18 years old and above while for the youth polls, those from 18 up to 24 years old, are qualified to seek post for the SK.
Lawyer Felicisimo Embalsado, assistant regional director of the Commission on Elections(Comelec), said that their local offices are to accept the COCs of the prospective candidates starting from 8 am until 5 pm, beginning today (Saturday) until April 20.
“But on Sunday (April 15), we will not receive any COCs from our candidates,” he said.
“We encourage them to file their COCs as early as possible and not to wait until deadline which is on April 20. The COC form can be downloaded in our website,” Embalsado said.
He also cautioned the would-be candidates not to engage in early campaigning or risk being charged for an election offense.
The campaign period for the barangay and SK elections is to start on May 4 until May 12.
Unlike before, those who have relatives, both in consanguinity and affinity up to second degree, who are holding elective positions, are prohibited to seek for any barangay or SK posts in this year’s May 14 elections.
Embalsado said that with the start of the filing of the COCs, the 38-day election period commences wherein certain prohibition are to take effect.
Among these are the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons; transfer of officers and employees in the civil service; suspension of any local official; making donations, in cash or in kind; and construction and maintenance of barangay-funded projects, among others.
There are 4,390 barangays in the region wherein voters are to cast vote for a barangay chairman and seven councilors, same number of elected posts for the youth council.
Based on the records of the Comelec-8, there are more than 2.84 million registered voters for the barangay elections while there are 4.01 million for the SK elections.