Tolentino asks Comelec to delay COC filing for barangay, SK elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — Senator Francis Tolentino called on the poll body to push back the July 3-7 filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

“Ako po ay nakiusap sa Commission on Elections (Comelec) na i-postpone ang filing of certificate of candidacy sa August, huwag po sa July. Dahil napakaaga po ng July. It will burden local government units. Magkakaroon ng napakaraming ban,” Tolentino told reporters at the Senate on Monday.

[Translation: I asked the Commission on Elections to postpone the filing of certificate of candidacy to August, not to July. Because July is so early. It will burden local government units. There will be so many bans.]

“At it will entail administrative expenses on the part of the Philippine National Police. Katakot-takot na checkpoint yan, gun ban na ang daming ide-deploy na tao, resources,” he added.

[Translation: And it will entail administrative expenses on the part of the Philippine National Police. So many checkpoints need to be put up, gun bans where a lot of people and resources will be deployed.]

Tolentino maintained that moving the COC filing at a later period will not affect the rest of the activities for the elections.

He also claimed that other lawmakers, including some members of the House of Representatives, have asked his help regarding the deferral of the COC filing.

Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the proposal is being discussed by the poll body.

“The later filing date of COCs for the BSKE is sensible and will be seriously considered by the poll body. There were already initial discussions on this matter by the en banc several days ago,” he said in a text message.

Garcia stated that a final decision may be reached on Wednesday.

According to Garcia, the early COC filing period was set to give the poll body ample time to resolve election-related cases.

The Barangay and SK elections will take place on Oct. 30. Campaign activities are not allowed from July 8 to Oct. 18, ahead of the campaign period set for Oct. 19 to 28.