THE poll body in Cagayan de Oro City has issued a warning to incumbent officials and candidates not to engage in partisan politics in the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Lawyer Ramil Acol, the city's Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer, said politicians who currently hold public office or are tied with political parties should refrain from endorsing a candidate, especially during the campaign period.
The 9-day campaign period is set to begin on May 4 and end on May 12.
Acol said anyone who engages in partisan politics will be charged for committing an election offense.
"Non-partisan ug walay politka sa election kay pwede sila masumbong pero kinahanglan ang moreklamo duna gyud ebidensya ug sila gyud ang mo-file sa kaso (Election should be non-partisan to avoid an election offense. Complainant should file the case and provide proof)," Acol said.
Acol repeatedly reminded aspirants to follow election rules and regulations to ensure the orderly conduct of the elections.
He also warned candidates against raising illegal funding, vote buying, violence and other illegal and unlawful activities.
Candidates are also urged to follow campaign guidelines such as the posting of campaign materials only at designated areas.
The city Comelec is now preparing for the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) on Saturday, April 14 until Friday, April 20, while it is waiting for the ballots to arrive in the city.
At present, regular voters for the barangay polls rose to 325,528 while the registered youth voters slightly dropped to 109,697 due to age requirement.
"Niubos gamay ang SK voters kay ang edad nitaas naman (SK voters decreased because those who were registered before no longer passed the age requirement)," he said.
The local poll body is set to hold the training for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) as soon as it received the general guidelines.
Acol said they will then assess if members of the BEIs are related or, in a way, connected, to the candidates.
Acol tipped the voters to choose village and youth leaders who possess the heart for genuine service without negative reputations in the community.
The city Comelec expects that election results will come out late because of the manual counting procedure.
But, Acol said they are working with the security forces to ensure a peaceful and clean elections.