Candidates set to file COCs

POSTPONED BARANGAY, SK ELECTIONS

THE Provincial Elections Office immediately relayed the memorandum from the Commission on Elections announcing the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Oct. 23 to all 48 municipal and city election offices in Pangasinan for their guidance.

“We had to transmit the memorandum of the chairman immediately because we heard many were preparing to line up in various election offices the next day to file their respective COCs (certificates of candidacy),” Provincial Elections Supervisor Marino Salas told the KBP Forum Thursday morning.

All the municipal and city elections offices were ordered not to receive any COC from any person for the Oct 23 elections.

At the same time, all preparations for the two elections were immediately suspended, Salas said.

The Commission on Elections en banc is expected to order the resumption of registration of voters for the Barangay and SK Elections on the second week of May 2018.

Salas said the postponement effectively lifted all bans imposed by the poll body, including the gun ban, and the conduct of police-Comelec checkpoints.

P/Chief Inspector Christopher Rey Natnat, deputy chief of the police community relations office in Pangasinan, confirmed that the PNP has ceased operational activities in preparation for the elections, including the gun ban and Comelec checkpoints.

But he said the police will continue to set up checkpoints as part of their regular crime prevention vs. loose firearms and illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, Salas dismissed impressions that the 59 million ballots printed for the Barangay and SK elections will go to waste because of the postponement of the elections anew.

He explained that the Oct. 23 Barangay and SK elections was to be done manually and not automated and therefore the ballots printed by the Comelec for can still be used in the May 2018 polls.

Asked by newsmen if there is limit to postponing elections, Salas said that there is none, and congress can postpone it anytime. (Leonardo Micua)

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