By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here on Thursday reminded government troops and civil service employees to be non-partisan during the conduct of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14, 2018.
Comelec 13 Regional Director Atty. Francisco R. Pobe also warned policemen, soldiers and civil service employees to stay away from partisan politics during the election or face election-related offenses.
“We are very strict on this,” stressed Pobe during an exclusive interview with The Manila Bulletin on Thursday.
He said that under Comelec laws, any partisan civil service employee and government soldier will be charged in court.
Section 2 (4) of Article 9-B of the 1987 Constitution and Section 55, Title 1, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 both strictly prohibit and impose penalty on civil service employees and members of the armed forces from engaging in any partisan political activity during the election, Pobe said.
The election period will start on Saturday, April 14 and will last until May 21, 2018, he said.
Meanwhile, Pobe said the election gun ban will be imposed and those who will be caught carrying firearms will be penalized while candidates who violate the ban will face disqualification.
Pobe called on the candidates, including their supporters and sympathizers, to observe clean, fair and peaceful elections.
The period for the filing of Certificate of Candidacy is from April 14 to 20, 2018 while the campaign period is from May 4 to 12, 2018.
There are 1, 619, 179 total registered voters in the five provinces and six cities in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region, while there are 658, 852 current SK voters throughout the region.
The Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) is mobilizing some 4,000 policemen during the election period in the five provinces and six cities in Caraga region.
Of the number, at least 2,600 of them will be placed in the 1, 333 voting centers while the remaining 1,400 will be action forces at different mobile units spread all over the region.