Bets start filing COCs for barangay polls-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
(UPDATED) Bets running in this month's barangay elections on Friday started filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) in the different city and municipal elections offices nationwide.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel opened their offices at 8 a.m. to receive COCs from prospective candidates, many of whom waited for hours, radio reports said.
Comelec spokesperson James Arthur Jimenez noted there were also many first-day filers at the Comelec office in Manila.
A radio report said that in Pasay City, the queues became unruly and prompted Comelec personnel to scold the bets and their supporters.
City and municipal election offices will start receiving COCs at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Friday and until October 17, except on Sunday, October 13.
Jimenez meanwhile lauded some barangays that he said remained relatively free of election clutter as Comelec reminds bets to take down tarpaulins, posters, and streamers they put up in the past as part of their premature campaigning efforts.
In a phone interview, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they need to take down their posters if they have already filed their COCs since they can now be liable for election offense charges.
"Those tarpaulins that were placed before filing their COCs need to be taken down. If their faces are there, they need to remove those posters," said Brillantes.
If not, the poll chief said they will be left with no choice but file election offense cases, which could result to their disqualification as candidates as well as one to six years jail time.
"We are even encouraging their opponents to file cases against them so they can be disqualified," said Brillantes.
To recall, the Comelec had been irked by potential candidates' efforts to promote themselves ahead of the COC filing and campaign period for the October 28 exercise, even dubbing them as "epals."
The Comelec had already said they are looking to file premature campaigning charges against those that will file their COCs and campaign prior to the start of the campaign period on October 18.
Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code states that: "it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period."
Brillantes said they expect close to 700,000 applicants for the barangay polls nationwide since there are 42,028 barangays in the country.
"Here in Manila, for example, we expect some 20,000 to file their COCs since there are 1,000 barangays. Just do the math by giving two (candidates) for the eight positions of chairman and seven kagawads," he said.
So far, the poll chief said they have not received any reports regarding Offices of City/Municipal Election Officers (EOs) experiencing problems in handling the filing of COCs.
This was despite the reported long queues attending EO offices in several areas.
"We have not had any major problems so far… We anticipate some (problems) as the 17th draws closer," said Brillantes. (JK/HDT/Sunnex)