All systems go for SK, village polls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2018 12:28 PM | Updated as of May 14 2018 07:17 AM

FILE PHOTO: Election campaign posters cover the walkways in Manila on May 4, 2018. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - After 2 postponements, all is set for the May 14 Sanggunian Kabataan and Barangay polls, the Commission on elections said Sunday. 

Officials in some 42,000 barangays have overstayed since 2013 while youth council posts were left vacant since 2010 after several laws were passed to defer the local elections. 

Monday's polls, which will be done through manual voting, will test the implementation of the anti-dynasty provision of the SK Reform Act for the first time since it was signed into law in 2016 by then-President Benigno Aquino III. 

"Handang-handa na po tayo," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told radio DZMM.

(We are fully ready.) 

"So far, we haven't really monitored any big showstopper event so we're very hopeful that we will be able to pull off the opening of the polls without a hitch tomorrow," he added in a separate interview with ANC. 

Police have recorded 20 election-related incidents, which left 27 dead ahead of the polls.  

This number is lower compared to previous elections, Jimenez said, adding that the peace and order situation remains "under control." 

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Comelec, he said, will be on the lookout for incidents of vote-buying and electoral fraud, which the public may report through government hotline 8888. 

The poll body is also building cases against local elected officials who have allegedly tried to exert pressure on the candidates and voters in their respective barangays, said Jimenez. 

"The barangay elections are supposed to be apolitical, that means no politics involved, and it should be non-partisan. The participation of politicians goes against the grain of the barangay elections," he noted. 

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On election day, voters aged 15 to 17 will receive only the red SK ballot while those aged 31 and above will use only the barangay ballot. 

Voters aged 18 to 30, meanwhile, will vote using both types of ballots, Jimenez reminded the public. 

He also said a liquor will be in place until 12 a.m. Tuesday while the election gun ban will be in effect until May 31. 

Results of the elections are expected to be out by Monday night for majority of villages and before Tuesday morning for large barangays, said Jimenez.