By Leslie Ann Aquino
The conduct of the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls was one of the highlights in the Commission on Elections this year.
This is especially since the said polls was finally held after being postponed twice in the past.
“The Barangay and SK elections, definitely. That’s also the first time that the anti-dynasty provision was implemented,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in an interview.
Under the SK Reform Act of 2015 or Republic Act 10742, candidates for SK should not be related within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent, elected national official; or to any incumbent regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay official, in the locality where he/she seeks to be elected.
Nearly five months after the holding of the nationwide village and youth polls, the village and youth polls was also held in war-torn Marawi.
The Comelec earlier deferred the village and youth polls in Marawi City owing to prevailing conditions there following the conduct of three public consultations in Mindanao whether or not to postpone said polls in the entirety of the region.
Aside from the successful conduct of the said polls, Jimenez said it was also this year when the seven-member En Banc was completed.
Commissioners Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo and Anthony Kho were appointed to the poll body following the retirement of Commissioners Arthur Lim and Christian Robert Lim in February.
Commissioner Sheriff Abas’ post became vacant when he was appointed by President Duterte as poll chief replacing Andres Bautista.
The poll body welcomed their appointments as the Comelec is already preparing for the May 2019 midterm polls.
To note, the Comelec is also busy preparing for the January 21 and February 6 plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
And with the conduct of the said polls next year, Jimenez said 2019 is going to be a busy year for them.
“After the elections in May, we start preparing for barangay elections in 2020. And immediately after 2020, its the 2022 presidential election which means that in 2019 we will already prepare for 2022,” he said.
“It is very crucial time and challenging time for our chairman…I think he is the poll chairman that will oversee the most number of elections. You can imagine how challenging this all right now,” Jimenez added.
“If you think about previous elections, December comparative speaking, by this time we are talking only about May but now we are also talking about BOL. Hopefully, we finish the BOL in a fast and orderly manner so we can proceed already to May,” he said.