Should barangay officials join in poll campaigns?

ILOILO City – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Western Visayas awaits the guidelines from its central office on village officials engaged in partisan politics.

Engineer Ariel Iglesia, DILG regional director, said his office would respect any pronouncement from their higher office.

DILG undersecretary Epimaco Densing III previously said civil servants, including village officials, are prohibited from joining campaign activities of candidates for the May 13 midterm elections.

Densing encouraged residents to report to the department village officials campaigning for a certain political candidates or parties.

“Undersecretary Densing made the pronouncement in one of the gatherings and we respect that. We are still waiting for the guidelines,” Iglesia said.

The guidelines should make clear the steps DILG Region 6 is going to take, he said, because the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court (SC) have different interpretations of the provision in the Local Government Code regarding political activities of village officials.

“We do not want to add confusion to the problem. We will implement whatever is in the guidelines that we will be receiving,” Iglesia said.

DILG-6 has yet to receive any formal complaints on village officials involved in partisan politics.

Aside from DILG personnel, the locals can monitor and file complaints “when village officials are found violating election rules,” said Iglesia.

Election-related complaints can be addressed to appropriate offices like the Comelec. (PNA/PN)


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