MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday, May 14, that unqualified barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials will not be allowed to assume office if they win.
There are some instances where SK bets were over the age of 24, or where barangay candidates were not registered in the village where they ran.
Acting Comelec Chair Al Parreño said at the poll body's evening press briefing that as of 7 pm Monday, the proclamation of 639 affected candidates has been suspended.
"Nag-suspend po kami ng mga taong baka ma-proclaim mamaya na nanalo na SK. Dahil kung over-aged ka, hindi ka namin papaupuin. Isu-suspend namin ang proclamation mo," he said.
(We have suspended those who may be proclaimed later if they win as SK officials. Because if you're over-aged, we won't let you assume office. We'll suspend your proclamation.)
The same applies to barangay chairpersons and councilors who don't meet the residency requirement. Parreño said the Comelec law department has already filed approximately 3,000 cases against these candidates. They are also considering criminal cases against them.
Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia explained that the certificates of candidacy of these unqualified bets would be cancelled, after formal investigation, on the basis of their false declarations.
"You have to understand also that Comelec can only accept certificates [COCs]. Although we advise them not to pursue, if they insist, we will accept them. Then the way we can handle that is to file a formal procedure for cancellation of their COC or disqualification," Guia said.
"If the bet is not eligible, there is a procedure for succession," he added in a mix of English and Filipino.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said they would study who would rightfully assume office on a case-to-case basis.
Guia expressed hope that Comelec would be able to resolve all these cases before the start of the terms of new village and youth council officials on June 30. – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.