Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano says the DILG will work closely with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in strictly enforcing the gun ban, the use of police bodyguards or confidential agents, and other prohibited acts during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in May.
Ano says he has already given instructions to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to begin preparations for the strict implementation of the gun ban and for the recall of police bodyguards during the during the campaign period which starts on April 14 to May 21.
“The PNP should now start preparing the recall letters and send them before the election period starts,” he says.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10247, the DILG together with the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and other law enforcement agencies were deputized to assist the Comelec in enforcing the said prohibitions.
Ano also directs the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to be on guard against illegal release of prisoners before and after election as provided by Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Other prohibited acts from May 4 up to the eve of the election day are construction or maintenance of barangay-funded roads and bridges; and appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, giving of salary increases, remuneration or privileges.
DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya says that both the DILG and Napolcom are tasked by the Comelec to assist in the effective implementation of elections laws, rules and regulations, thus they will be mobilizing the entire personnel of the department to ensure compliance with election laws.
"Our Local Government Operations Officers assigned to each LGU shall be coordinating closely with their local Election Officers and Chiefs of Police to ensure that the directives of the Comelec are complied with," says Malaya.
The DILG Spokesperson says that all DILG field personnel should report any violation to the Comelec for the filing of necessary charges.
"We expect our field personnel to also assist in informing all Barangays of the schedule of activities and prohibited acts during the election period," he says.
Don’ts during election period
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10246, during the election period which will run from April 14 to May 21, it is prohibited to carry firearms or other deadly weapons as well as organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces or similar forces.
There is also a ban on altering precincts or establishing new ones and transferring or detailing officers and employees in the civil service including public school teachers. Elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officers may not be suspended during the election period.
Ano particularly warns that the DILG will be on the lookout together with the Comelec for the campaign against vote-buying and vote-selling.
“The barangay elections have been postponed twice. Do not waste your right to vote for matino, mahusay, at maaasahang barangay and SK officials. Ang boto po natin ay walang katapat na presyo at nakataya sa ating boto ang pag-unlad ng ating mga barangay. We are the change,” he says.
The DILG Chief also reminds the public that the Comelec prohibits wagering or betting upon result of election and the raising of funds thru dances, lotteries, and cockfights.
Meanwhile, during the campaign period starting on May 4, Comelec forbids making any donation or gift in cash or in kind even up to the election day on May 14.