SIXTY-TWO three-termed barangay officials have been found by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as still making an attempt to extend their stays by running in Monday's polls.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that they found 62 individuals that ran for the same posts and that the possibilities of them being proclaimed are now being suspended also.
"If they received the highest number of votes, we will withhold their proclamations. We will have to go into the proceedings later on, where they can still be proclaimed if it turns out that they are not three-termers," said Commissioner Christian Lim.
Section 2 of Republic Act 9164 or An Act Providing for the Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections states that "no barangay elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position."
The three-termed barangay officials are the latest of the group of candidates, whose qualifications are under questioned prompting the Comelec to suspend their proclamation in case they turn out as top vote-getters.
Topping the list of questionable candidates are those found to be not registered voters in the places where they are running with over 400.
The Comelec said they also found eight candidates facing petitions to be declared as nuisance.
Lastly, four candidates for barangay posts have been found to have criminal conviction, including those by the Office of the Ombudsman.
"We suspended the proclamation of more or less about 500," said Brillantes.
Lim explained that their decision was done on their own initiative so they can avoid having cases of nuisance candidates, overstaying officials, and unregistered bets being proclaimed.
"Once they are proclaimed, we will lose jurisdiction on the cases. These will now be in forms of election protests, which will take a longer time to resolve… This is our precautionary move pending the hearing on the merits of their actual statuses," said Lim.
Brillantes said they are looking to resolve the pending cases of those that will have their proclamations suspended before November 30, when the terms of office of incumbent officials will expire.
PWDs, elderly vote
Meanwhile, Comelec expressed satisfaction with the number of senior citizens and person with disabilities (PWDs) that participated in the pilot implementation of accessible polling places located inside shopping malls in four areas in the country.
Commissioner Luie Guia said that among the four areas in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the polling place at SM City Cebu registered the highest voter turnout with 97.3 percent or 73 out of the 75 voters. The voters are from Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City. The regular polling place is at Mabolo Elementary School.
SM City Manila (Barangay 659) posted the second highest number of voters with 36 out of 37 who registered or 97 percent. Barangay 659's regular polling center is at Manuel Araullo High School.
Those who opted to vote at the SM accessible polling place have filled up a consent form, expressing their intent to vote in the special polling places.
A total of 59 out of 68 (86 percent) of the number of elderly and PWDs cast their ballots at SM City General Santos. The said voters are from Barangay Lagao, General Santos City.
In Luzon, a total of 37 out of the 44 senior citizens and PWDs from Barangay Sabang, Lipa City, Batangas, cast their votes at the SM City Lipa. The figure represents 84 percent of those who registered.
The establishment of special polling places is a prelude to the full implementation of Republic Act 10366 (An Act Authorizing the Commission on Elections to establish Precincts Exclusively for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens) in the next polls.
Teachers commended on elections
The Department of Education (DepEd) gave due recognition to teachers who rendered their duties as members of the board of election tellers (BET).
"We are happy to announce that since yesterday, we have not received any reports of incidents or violence where in our teachers have been victims. There were few incidents but this do not involved our teachers," said Undersecretary Alberto Muyot of the DepEd's legal and legislative affairs office.
Despite reports of minor incidents that transpired in some areas during Monday's barangay polls, Muyot described the event as "orderly and peaceful" owing to the smooth opening and closing of polling centers.
Muyot said there were less incidents reported on Monday's polls compared to the previous barangay elections.
He said that among the minor incidents that occurred during election day were delays in the arrivals of election officers (7 cases); ballot boxes snatching (8 cases); unarranged list of voters names in the precincts (13 cases); bomb threat (1 case); fire incidents (2 cases); late arrival of election materials (five cases); complaints against candidates (8 cases); and election postponements in Calayan Island in Cagayan (4 cases).
He noted teachers have no involvement in any of these reported incidents.
Meanwhile, Muyot said that on Tuesday afternoon they will send a request to the Comelec for the additional honorarium of the teachers.
As per Comelec resolution 9751, the poll body will pay the teachers who will serve as chairmen or members of the BETs P2,000 as honoraria, P500 as one-time transportation allowance, P1,000 per person for the public school teachers, principals or supervisors who will serve as supervising official and P500 per person for those who will act as support staff.
The DepEd, however, requested for an additional P300 for each BETs, which will serve as their bonus.
The honorarium for the teachers was given on a cash basis through their local government units, said Muyot. (HDT/FP/Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)