Barangay Officials

Politicking village execs

June 1, 2021 People's Tonight 217 views

LIKE members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), village authorities, notably barangay chairmen, are barred from engaging in electioneering or partisan political activities.

In fact, the landmark Omnibus Election Code provides that the country’s barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are non-partisan and inexpensive.

Despite this prohibition, many candidates for a position in the barangay would go to town, city and provincial and even national officials to solicit financial or material support.

Politicians and political parties, on the other hand, need to support barangay candidates for their own political agenda in exchange of the latter’s support during elections.

And in the view of many quarters, including ordinary citizens, the notion that barangay and SK ballotings are non-partisan is only a perception. imagination and a misnomer.

But Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, a former secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), warned barangay authorities against engaging in partisan politics.

Note that the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 9, 2022 computerized presidential, congressional and local elections starts October 1 and ends October 8, 2021.

Drilon said “let us maintain the non-partisan nature of the barangays. Barangays must shun politics at all costs,” adding “they cannot…endorse the candidacy of any person.”

Not only that. Drilon said these public servants cannot use the resources of the barangay for political activities.

Like other well-meaning Filipinos, we call on our politicians, particularly local leaders, to refrain from using barangay officials to further their political agenda.

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