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Caraga gov’t execs, troops told : Be non-partisan or face consequences

Candidates from Butuan City’s 86 barangays show up at the city’s Comelec office Saturday to file their candidacy papers for the May 14 polls.   Photo courtesy of Bombo Radyo Butuan

Caraga election director Francisco Pobe has reminded government troops and civil service employees not to take sides during the conduct of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14, 2018.

Pobe said under Comelec laws, policemen, soldiers and civil service employees should stay away from partisan politics during the election or face election-related offenses.

“We are very strict on this,” Pobe said.

Section 2 (4) of Article 9-B of the 1987 Constitution and Section 55, Title 1, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 both strictly prohibit and impose penalty on civil service employees and members of the armed forces from engaging in any partisan political activity during the election, Pobe said.

The period for the filing of Certificate of Candidacy is from April 14 to 20, 2018 while the campaign period is from May 4 to 12, 2018.

Data from the Comelec showed that there are 1, 619, 179 total registered voters in the five provinces and six cities in Caraga region, while there are 658, 852 current SK voters throughout the region.

The positions to be contested in the barangay polls are the barangay chair and seven members of the Sangguniang Barangay, or village council.

The youth elections are for one chair and seven members of the SK in each village.

Pobe said the election period also signals the start of the gun ban, starting on Saturday and throughout the election period until May 21, during which those who will be caught carrying firearms will be penalized while candidates who violate the ban will face disqualification.

Carrying and transporting firearms and other deadly weapons and the hiring of private security are prohibited without exemptions from the poll body.

Only members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies who are duly deputized by the Comelec for election duties—and who must be in uniform—are authorized to carry firearms during the election period. By CLC


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