Comelec resolution questioned

CEBU Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 to clarify a resolution that requires barangays to give P10,000 to their Comelec offices.

Castillano told Regional Election Director Temie Lambino in an Aug. 29 letter that the Comelec resolution has caused confusion among field officers.

Comelec Resolution 9739, promulgated on July 10, requires each barangay to give P10,000 to their Comelec offices as the election body does not have enough funds for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections in October.

The amount can be taken out from the general fund of the barangays, which have been reserved for the SK.

Refusal

Castillano asked if a barangay will be sanctioned for refusing to give the funds.

According to the resolution, the amount that will defray the expenses for the board of election tellers (BET), also known as board of election inspectors.

The funds from the barangays will help Comelec increase the honoraria of the BETs and pay for their transportation allowance, trainings and meetings.

Earlier, Cebu Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said the amount will be liquidated by Comelec offices.

Castillano asked Lambino if the P10,000 is enough to cover the election-related expenses in a big barangay.

Questions

Castillano’s other questions:

• If there a surplus of funds in one barangay, can the funds be used in another without being cited for technical malversation?

• Can election officers opt to deposit the amount as trust fund of the LGU so that they can delegate the disbursement and liquidation of the funds?

In a phone interview, Lambino said he will forward Castillano’s questions to Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. today for further clarification.

Lambino said the questions raised by Castillano were valid.

He said this will be tackled by the Comelec en banc for possible answers.

Gun ban

In a related development, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 revealed that the gun ban related to the barangay and SK elections on Oct. 28 will begin on Sept. 28 and end on Nov. 12.

PRO 7 Director Danilo Constantino said the police will also intensify their campaign against loose firearms.

“Most crimes involve firearms. I believe crimes will lessen if there will be a decrease (in the number of) loose firearms,” he said.

He said PRO 7 has started planning for the barangay elections.

Their plans include detailed reaction forces in the provinces to monitor the elections.

As of yesterday, Constantino was still waiting for the total number of polling precincts and centers to help PRO 7 decide how may police personnel will be deployed during the election period.

Meeting

He said there should be at least two police personnel per precinct.

Last week, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) also conducted its first joint peace and security coordination meeting for the barangay elections. It was participated in by police chiefs and units in Cebu City and representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

CCPO Director Noli Romana said part of their meeting was to assess the different barangays in the city and update their records.

Considering that there are 80 barangays in Cebu City, Romana said, they will have to identify priority areas.

“We will focus on the barangay with high voting population,” he said.
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