Candidates with the highest votes in the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) may immediately and effectively assume office, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.
“[If the candidate for the October 30,2023 BSKE obtained the highest number of votes among the remaining candidates for the same position in the same barangay, and later on proclaimed, and subsequently took his or her oath of office, the said candidate, now referred to as the winning candidate and/or newly elected official, may immediately and effectively assume office,” a Comelec letter addressed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government read.
The Comelec Law Department made the statement following the query of DILG Undersecretary for External, Legal, and Legislative Affairs Juan Victor Llamas who sought the guidance of the poll body on the exact period of the assumption of BSKE candidates to be elected on October 30.
With the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the unconstitutionality of Republic Act 11935, the Comelec Law Department explained that the term of office of sitting and incumbent barangay and SK officials have already ended on December 31,2022 pursuant to RA 11462.
This means, the sitting BSKE officials continue to hold office under a hold-over capacity.
Section 3 of RA 11462 states that until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified, all incumbent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials shall remain in office, unless sooner removed or suspended for cause.
“This provision is substantially the same as that enunciated by the Supreme Court… [in] the Decision dated June 27,2023, particularly that the sitting and incumbent BSK officials shall continue to hold office until their successor shall have been elected and qualified,” the Comelec Law Department letter read.
The letter dated October 25 was signed by Comelec Law Department Director Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal and noted by Comelec chairperson George Garcia. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News