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15 thousand candidates vie for barangay, sk slots in East Samar

Barangay and SK candidates in Sabang South attend Sunday Mass on May 6, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Gilda Nebrida)

BORONGAN, May 8, 2018–Campaigning has started for the more than fifteen thousand candidates battling for different positions in the barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan councils in Eastern Samar.

Atty. Butch Beato, Comelec Provincial Officer said that there are 9,645 candidates vying for positions in the barangay, and 5,543 for the SK councils.

Voters will go to the polls on May 14 to choose 1 chairman and 7 kagawad for the barangay and the same number of officials for the SK.

Beato asked the everyone to be mindful of election laws to avoid legal problems. He also reminded candidates to engage in peaceful campaign activities and refrain from vote buying and other illegal acts.

This will be the first barangay election since 2013 and the first SK election since 2010. A law was passed in 2013 postponing the SK election scheduled that year and all positions were declared vacant until new officers are elected.

The SK reform law was enacted in 2016, which made significant changes in the sanggunian.

Under the new law, the electorate is expanded. Those from age 15 to 30 can vote in the SK elections but only those who are 18-24 can actually run for positions.

Meanwhile, the DILG regional office has issued an advisory to clear the anti-dynasty provisions of the SK reform law.

OIC Regional Director Marivel Sacendoncillo said that the SK reform act provides that “an official of the SK, either elective or appointee must not be related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official or to any incumbent elected regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay official, in the locality where he or she seeks to be elected”.

Under the local government code, resignation of a local official shall be deemed effective only upon the acceptance of the mayor, in case of barangay officials.

The advisory further states that “if there is no showing that the resignation has been accepted by the proper authority or that there was a lapse of the 15 working days from the receipt of the letter of resignation before the date of the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy, the same official shall still be considered an incumbent elective official”.

“Any SK candidate who filed his COC on the misguided assumption of presumption that the incumbent relative has effectively vacated or resigned from office, may face the risks of disqualification proceedings or an election protest initiated by any interested party,” the advisory said. (Eden Cidro/Este News)

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