SOME 119 Barangays in Baguio City is set to undergo special elections to fill up the vacant positions in the Sanguniang Kabataan and barangay positions following the failure of candidates to submit their statement of contributions and expenditures (Soce) after the May 2018 SK and Barangay Elections.
Lawyer John Paul Martin, Commission on Election (Comelec) Baguio Supervisor explained this following their meeting with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the city to know the important details in the conduct of the special elections.
“We have met with the DILG regarding the filling up of unfilled SK positions because they have the guidelines with regard to the conduct of special elections. As to the issue of failure to file Soce for both the SK and barangay officials, both us in the Comelec and DILG are still waiting for the final memorandum coming from both our central offices on how it is to be done if either we will require them to file for a certain period for them to be able to sit or not,” Martin said.
“There will be a special elections for the 119 barangays to fill up the unfilled positions. A pre-election activity will be scheduled which I think consist of a five day registration period which will be followed by the scheduled election to be announced by the DILG which will probably be set on a weekend this January,” Martin added.
The process of the special elections will be through nomination similar to the federation elections followed by secret balloting, canvass and final proclamation.
The vacancies was not only due to the none filling of Soce’s, but was also due to the lack of interest by supposed voters and members of the Sanguniang Kabataan to run for the various positions.
“The unfilled positions have been vacant for more than six months because supposedly, they should have started to serve June 30, 2018, and this has been a long period for them to have not filed their Soce’s,” the election supervisor stated.
From the 208,248 total registered voters of Baguio City in the recent Barangay and SK Elections, 120,723 casted their votes with 96,943 for barangay and 22,780 for the Sanguniang Kabataan.
Of the 55 winning candidates, a barangay captain is facing disqualification together with 11 barangay kagawads, three SK chairmen and 40 SK kagawads as of June 2018.
It was learned there were 344 candidates in the barangay elections and 114 for the Sanguniang Kabataan winning candidates who have not submitted their Soce.
Comelec Baguio is still awaiting Comelec en banc on its decision if it would allow the late submission of Soce’s coming from the winning candidates, but if it decides otherwise, the winning candidates would have to face disqualification proceedings preventing them to sit as winning candidates.
Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code on Disqualifications also states any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.