The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it is prohibiting political dynasties from contesting next month’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) elections.
“They [SK candidates] will file their certificates of candidacy [CoC], and there is a declaration that they are not related up to the second civil degree to any incumbent, elected government official,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez pointed out.
“It’s a declaration under oath, so if they’re found out they can be disqualified and they’ll have problems with the fact that they lied under oath,” Jimenez said.
Former President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed into law in 2016 the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015 that includes an anti-dynasty provision.
Moreover, the Comelec will also be on the lookout for “violence” and “vote- buying” during the SK elections, Jimenez said.
The SK and barangay (village) polls will be held simultaneously in May.
Manual voting will be adopted for both elections.
“The teachers will be doing the counting again which means that a lot of the pressure will be focused on them. That’s where the violence might happen,” according to Jimenez.
He said Comelec officials and poll watchers will police offenders who try to exert “undue influence” over voters.
“We’re looking out for people watching or whispering through windows. In some cases, you’ll see folded pieces of paper money flying through the air, flicked to people who are sitting, writing down in their ballots,” Jimenez added.