Comelec: Let bgy poll bets join political parties
MANILA - Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Monday said he is not averse to letting candidates in the barangay elections join political parties since many local officials are already backing barangay poll bets.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Brillantes said the barangay elections can no longer be considered apolitical since many local officials are backing candidates in the barangay elections.
"Dapat siguro sige na magpartido na kayo at magpulitika na rin kayo (para) mabantayan na ng husto kasi pulitiko din naman ang nasa likod ng barangay," he said.
The Comelec chief said allowing political parties to join in the barangay elections would help the poll body in policing the elections. He said that under the present system, the Comelec cannot simply run after the candidates.
He noted: "We can discipline the political parties if [the candidates] are members."
Brillantes said the barangay elections are more personal since it pits neighbors and relatives against each other. He also noted that election violence still happens because rivals in the barangay polls know each other.
"Barangay polls are more personal. We are talking about neighbors fighting for these positions. Magkakamag-anak. Yan ang binabantayan namin all over the country," he said.
A Philippine Star report earlier said a total of 96 village officials have been killed and 41 others wounded in the nine months leading to the October 28 barangay elections.
Candidates in the 2013 barangay elections can file their certificates of candidacy from October 11-17, 2013. The official campaign period starts on October 18 and ends October 26.