THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has issued an order suspending the proclamation of at least 241 candidates if they win in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on Monday, October 30.
Chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Wednesday that the decision was arrived at during the regular Comelec en banc session because of pending disqualification cases against the said candidates.
Chairman George Erwin Garcia. Photo from Comelec
The list includes candidates for barangay and SK chairman, and barangay and SK councils.
Garcia said that the cases against the 241 candidates range from premature campaigning, vote buying, illegal campaigning, and violations of the anti-political dynasty prohibition.
Some filed their certificates of candidacy despite the perpetual disqualification from holding public office orders issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
“We already informed our canvassers in different barangay across the country that said personalities will not be proclaimed even if they win the elections,” the Comelec chief said.
Garcia added that the Commission will come out with the complete list of decided disqualification cases, which are now being finalized by the Comelec First and Second Division.
“We expect the decisions one week or two weeks after the elections. We will resolve all disqualification cases so that those who win can immediately assume office,” he said.
“But till there is no decision or order to lift suspension, the candidates, if they win, will remain suspended as ordered by the Commission,” Garcia said.
At the same time, Garcia clarified that the commission excluded campaign materials posted inside private properties from its “Operation Baklas.”
“We are not removing campaign materials in private properties,” he said, following the ruling of the Supreme Court that removing campaign materials inside private properties is unconstitutional.
Garcia, however, said that even posters inside private properties should comply with the 2×3-foot ruling; otherwise, the poll body will write the candidate a letter to take down his or her oversize posters.
“We will not run after the private property owner, but we will write the candidate to take any oversize campaign materials inside private properties. It’s up to the candidate to talk it out with the property owner,” he added.