MANILA — Over 300 candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) have so far responded to the show-cause orders issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regarding premature campaigning, an official said on Thursday.
Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said since the end of the filing of certificates of candidacy earlier this month, the Task Force Anti-Epal sent out more than 1,200 show-cause orders on the alleged election violations.
"Dapat kasi 3 araw matapos matanggap ang show-cause order ay sumagot na ang naturang kandidato, supporters, o iba pa na nakatanggap nito," said Laudiangco in a public briefing.
When asked if the Comelec has disqualified any candidate for the local polls scheduled next month, he answered in the negative.
Candidates who received a show-cause order must respond to allegations on illegal and premature campaigning based on the evidence collected by the Comelec.
Failure to do so would result in a criminal or disqualification case, said Laudiangco.
"Una sa lahat, yung kanilang tugon sa show-cause order, ipapaliwanag nila bakit nakakita kami ng kanilang illegal o premature campaigning, nakolekta namin ang ebidensya, ano ang tugon nila dito? Kung hindi satisfactory ang kanilang tugon dito, sila ay tahasan nang sasampahan ng kaso," he said.
He said the Comelec will decide on all these cases before the Oct. 30 elections.
"Ang commitment namin, ito ay ireresolba bago maghalalan para 'yung dapat ma-disqualify at dapat mawala na sa listahan," he said.
Comelec would prohibit the distribution of ballers, shirts, umbrellas, and other campaign paraphernalia with a candidate's name and logo during the upcoming local polls, as this could be considered vote-buying.
If candidates want to distribute election paraphernalia prohibited by the Omnibus Election Code, they should seek special permission from the Comelec, Laudiangco said.
The election period began on August 28, which was also the first day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC).
COCs can be submitted until September 2.
An individual will be considered a candidate the moment he or files a COC, and would only be allowed to campaign from October 19 to 28.
More than 92 million ballots for BSKE
The National Printing Office (NPO) has finished printing 92,054,974 official manual ballots for the local polls.
In a turnover ceremony at NPO earlier in the day, the agency gave the Comelec a certificate of completion.
The NPO has also finished printing other accountable forms to be used in the BSKE such as more than 403,000 election returns and 87,000 sets of Certificates of Canvas and Proclamation.
More than two million official ballots for the October 30 plebiscite to ratify the conversion of the city of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan into a highly-urbanized city have also been finished.
— with a report from Victoria Tulad, ABS-CBN News