Comelec: LGU execs to face raps for BSKE interference

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Comelec: LGU execs to face raps for BSKE interference
Commission on Elections Chairman George Garcia holds a press conference for the final updates on the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to file charges against local government officials who interfered and caused delays in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

“These local government officials have meddled during the voting, the counting of votes and even during the canvassing,” Comelec Chairman George Garcia said at a press briefing yesterday.

He added: “These people are trying to influence the outcome (of the elections) and even the members of the electoral board, the barangay board of canvassers… There is a need to investigate them and file appropriate cases.”

“They will do this again in the next (midterm) elections and the next after that, which is the BSKE. So we just cannot let them get away with this,” said Garcia.

He said the Comelec would call for a meeting and instruct the deputy director for administration and deputy director for operations to gather all reports nationwide concerning local politicians who interfered in the counting, canvassing and even in the proclamation of candidates, as well as those who caused delay.

“We would like to also find out what happened to the teachers who backed out suddenly and did not serve during election day, as well as PNP personnel who weren’t able to serve as substitute of the said teachers,” Garcia said.

He also said that they have no plans of filing cases or bringing to jail any teacher.

“We will not file cases against the teachers, especially those who withdrew prior to the elections since it’s an absolute right to refuse to serve on election day, but those who suddenly backed out during election day, we just want to know why you refused to turn over the election paraphernalia to the ones who replaced you,” said Garcia.

The Comelec also said that in the next few weeks or months, it will file cases against those who have threatened or caused violence against teachers, personnel as well as Comelec officials and employees.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied reports that its personnel withdrew or backed out as special board of election inspectors (SBEI) during the barangay polls.

“With due respect to the Commission on Elections, we don’t know what information reached them, but as far as the PNP is concerned, we confirmed this morning that none of our police personnel withdrew,” PNP public information office chief Col. Jean Fajardo said at a press briefing in Camp Crame yesterday.

The situation in Tineg, Abra, where the teachers reportedly paused the election proceedings around 9 a.m. on election day, citing security concerns, involved teachers who claimed that the police could not protect them.

However, local election officers intervened and insisted that the elections proceed, Fajardo said. By 1 p.m. on the same day, the election had resumed and the police were present.

Fajardo explained that the police were not present inside the polling centers but were situated in the vicinity of the precincts.

The delay in the election process, Fajardo said, resulted from the teachers’ temporary halt, possibly due to confusion about the distance between the location and their original posts.

Voter turnout

More voters participated in this year’s BSKE, the Comelec said.

The 2023 barangay polls had a voter turnout of 75.76 percent or 3,614,800 actual voters out of 4,771,373 registered voters.

As for youth voters, it recorded a 76.08 percent turnout or 1,258,644 actual voters out of 1,654,373 registered voters.

Earlier, Garcia said they target to reach at least 75 percent voter turnout for the BSKE 2023.

The initial voter turnout for the Oct. 30 BSKE is higher than that in the 2018 polls.

Comelec records showed that the barangay elections in 2018 saw a 71.20 percent voter turnout or 40,890,372 actual voters out of 57,429,273 registered voters.

The 2018 data also showed that the Sangguniang Kabataan elections had a 65.51 percent turnout or 13,529,267 actual voters out of 20,651,711 registered voters. — Mark Ernest Villeza

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with