A candidate in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in Negros Oriental is facing a disqualification case, the first in the province, and may not be proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in case of a victory in the October 30 political exercise.
The candidate is from San Jose town and is running for the position of barangay chair, acting provincial election supervisor Eliseo Labaria said.
Labaria declined to give details about the candidate and the case, which is pending at the Comelec en banc, so as not to compromise the investigation.
“We served [on Thursday, October 26] the Comelec notice of suspension of proclamation of winning candidates with pending disqualification cases in the country to the board of canvassers and to the subject candidate in San Jose so they are aware of what to expect on election day,” he said in an interview on Saturday, October 28.
The candidate could still run during Monday’s polls as there is no prohibition against it, he added.
However, should the candidate win, the proclamation may come only after the Comelec has decided with finality on the case.
Asked about a possible vacuum if this candidate wins and is not proclaimed, Labaria said it would be up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to decide on the matter.
Meanwhile, Labaria led the send-off ceremony of almost 3,000 security forces who would render election duty starting Saturday.
The ceremony was held at the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) headquarters in Sibulan town’s Barangay Agan-an.
The security personnel consisted of 1,604 from the Philippine National Police, 1,106 from the Philippine Army, 215 from the Bureau of Fire Protection, and 32 from the Coast Guard for a total of 2,957.
Additional police and military personnel were deployed earlier in the day to deliver the official ballots and election paraphernalia, together with teachers serving on the electoral boards, to two remote sub-villages in Bayawan City.
Lt. Stephen Polinar, deputy chief of the NOPPO Police Community Affairs and Development Unit, said these security forces would be assigned to voting centers, assistance desks, checkpoints, and other election-related duties.
They are augmentation personnel coming from different areas outside Negros Oriental who arrived separately in the province in recent weeks, Polinar said.
Labaria also said more static and mobile checkpoints were set up as a curfew was implemented on Saturday night from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and again from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. yesterday in the entire province to prevent vote-buying and other possible election-related violence.
Negros Oriental has been placed under Comelec-control for the BSKE to avert violence after the public hearings conducted by the poll body as an offshoot of the March 4 assassination of Governor Roel Degamo. (PNA)