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Delayed proclamation of barangay, youth bets facing DQ cases eyed

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday raised the possibility of withholding the proclamation of candidates who will win in the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) if they are facing disqualification cases.

In a radio interview, Comelec chairman George Garcia said: “We are considering issuing a resolution that will suspend the proclamation of those with pending cases in the event that they win the elections.”

“There are so many cases pending, but we have to ensure there is due process. So, the best remedy we have is to suspend the proclamation of the candidates with pending cases,” Garcia said.

The poll chief admitted the move is the next option available to the Comelec given the voluminous number of disqualification cases lodged before the Commission.

Garcia said the move will likewise allow the Comelec to continue exercising jurisdiction over the concerned candidates in case they win.

“This will ensure that these candidates won’t be able to claim that they have been elected, voted, and given mandate by the people already,” he said.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, upon the completion of the election returns, the chairman of the electoral boards shall orally and publicly announce the total number of votes received in the election in the polling place by each of the candidates.

Subsequently, the candidates who will obtain the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed as elected officials.

As of October 20, the Comelec has already filed 165 petitions for disqualification and issued 7,103 show cause orders against candidates accused of premature campaigning.

Similarly, there are 341 show cause orders issued against those who are allegedly engaged in illegal campaigning.

Meanwhile, a candidate for chairman in Barangay Bucot in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija stopped using his campaign jingle, which Garcia deemed was “gender insensitive.”

In a one-page letter to Aliaga Election Officer Ardel Eugenio, Jose “Pepe” Pacheco apologized over the use of his campaign jingle.

“It is with full regret that the song was written and produced not in accordance to the suggested standard of the Honorable Commission on Elections,” said Pacheco.

“I’m awfully