THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, March 24, 2023, expressed belief that its decision to push back the certificate of candidacy (COC) filing period can help minimize poll-related violence in the October 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

In a press conference, Comelec Executive Director Teopisto Elnas said part of the poll body's decision to adjust the COC filing period from July 3 to 7 to August 28 to September 2 is in order to shorten its distance to Election Day.

"With this (adjustment), we have shortened the election period so the tendency of violence will be lessened until prior to Election Day," said Elnas.

He noted how having a longer election period will mean that the high political tension will linger for an extended time.

"The longer the period (between COC filing and Election Day), the more likely violence will spark," Elnas said.

The poll official noted how political tension is inevitable considering the nature of barangay and SK elections.

"During barangay elections, the playground for the candidates is just small. They will be seeing each other everyday, along with their supporters. That can start chaos in their barangays," said Elnas.

Comelec Resolution No. 10899 had set the period to file COCs for the BSKE from July 3 to 7.

This resulted in objections from some lawmakers, who asked the poll body to adjust the COC filing period to a later date.

On Wednesday, the COC filing period for the BSKE is now set from August 28 to September 2. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)