SUSPENDED elected Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials are now allowed to serve provided they submit their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) and be issued with a certificate of compliance.
Lawyer John Paul Martin, Baguio City election supervisor, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in an en-banc decision allowed erring officials to serve based on an en-banc resolution number 18-1127-6 released by the electoral tribunal nationwide.
“This special consideration by the Comelec is sort of a good news because finally after six months, these candidates who won during the last Barangay and SK Elections last May 2018 but were not allowed to serve for failure to submit their SOCEs are now given the chance to assume office provided they submit and comply with the requirements of the Comelec,” Martin said.
Of the 55 winning candidates in the recent May 2018 Local Elections, a barangay captain with 11 barangay kagawads, three SK chairmen and 40 SK kagawads were facing disqualification prior to the decision released by the Comelec.
“We still require them to file original copies of the SOCEs and base on the resolution, it is giving the Department of the Interior and Local Governments 30 days after to advice the winning candidates who did not comply with the requirements to finally comply. And it is urgent for them to assume their office for them receive their honorariums,” Martin added.
In the region, 819 vacancies have been recorded by DILG with the largest vacancy listed in Ifugao Province at 135.
Mountain Province have 124 vacancies followed by Kalinga with 122, Baguio City with 121, Benguet with 112, Abra with 105 while Apayao had the least with 100 vacancies.
Because of the vacancies incurred after the May 2018 Barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan Elections, the DILG approved Memorandum Circular 2018-212 which sets the guidelines in the conduct of a nationwide special elections on or before January 20,2019.