Candidates in Barangay and SK elections to validate voters
By Paulo DS. Papa
EACH candidate who will run for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October, this year, will be furnished with a list of newly registered voters so that they can be of help in confirming the voters’ places of domicile as what they manifested during their registration.
In an interview with Atty. Maico Julia Jr., head of the Commission on Election in Naga City, said that he will see to it that each candidate will have his/her own copies before February 6, this year.
“They [candidates] can conduct house-to-house visits to the houses of these new registered voters to determine if they are indeed residents of their barangays,” says Julia.
Julia explained that the course of action is necessary as part of the requirement before the Election Registration Board (ERB) finally approves the registration of the new voters which was conducted from December 12, 2022 to January 31, 2023.
“Once approved in the ERB hearing on February 20, these voters will officially and finally be included in the voters’ population of our city,” he said.
He, however, said that once a candidate was found out to be not actually living in the barangay which he declared he is, an opposition paper must be filed to the Comelec. The Comelec, in turn, will summon the involved voter for appropriate investigation.
Julia said that voters with questionable residencies will be disqualified once it was proven in the investigation that they intentionally provided the Comelec with false information.
INDIVIDUALS who wish to register as voters in Naga City rush to Comelec-Naga on January 31, this year, the last day of the voters’ registration set by the Comelec. Photo courtesy Alvin Carinan
Based from the Article XXII, Sec. 261 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, any person is prohibited to knowingly make any false or untruthful statement relative to any of the data or information required in the application for registration.
The section 264 under the code penalizes any person who found guilty of any election offenses “shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.”
Previously, Naga has 119,119 registered voters. Julia said that Comelec-Naga, after the previous registration, noted an increase of 3,675 applicants who registered to vote in the city for the upcoming elections.
Julia admitted, however, that a significant reduction in the 119,119 voters in the city may decrease as there are voters who transferred to other places while some are already dead.