An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) admitted that they can ‘do nothing’ to publicity hogs or so called epal would-be candidates for the sangguniang kabataan and barangay polls.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said that they cannot prohibit would-be candidates from posting huge tarpaulins advertising their names and advocacies since it is not yet the election campaign period.
“Wala . . . kasi ang campaign period matagal pa, kung gusto nilang magpabango e di magpabango sila. It’s a free country [Nothing we can do . . . because it is not the campaign period and it’s still so far, now if they wanted to advertise themselves they can do so. It’s a free country],” Jimenez said.
He, however, urged would-be candidates to minimize their activities citing that the barangay and SK polls should be inexpensive.
On the other hand, he admitted that as long as Congress has not yet acted on the request to postpone the barangay and SK polls, they can do nothing, but be prepared as if it will push through.
In fact, he said, the Comelec is prioritizing the cleansing of the voters list, preparing for the ballots to be used and printing of the other election-related forms.
“Kamakailan lang natapos na namin ang printing ng mga election returns . . . while balota ongoing pa lang [We have recently accomplished printing the election returns . . . while printing of ballots is still on going],” he said.
Comelec is also prioritizing the procurement of election supplies, and printing designs of the ballots and its security marks.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said that in case the Congress or office of the president will grant their request to postpone the barangay and SK polls a month before its scheduled date, they will be forced to stop what they are doing now.
“It affects us since we have already began working, but it doesn’t matter; what matters is the decision of the Congress,” he said.
Barangay and SK elections are slated on October 28, 2013.