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HEADLINE NEWS

   

Barangay officials reminded on prohibition in serving as poll watchers

By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
February 23, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte    To help diffuse possible political tension in polling places, barangay officials were reminded not to act as watchers for political parties or any other organization in connection with the May 2007 elections.

DILG-08 Regional Director William C. Paler said the prohibition is contained in Comelec Resolution 7798 dated January 5, 2007.  This covers Punong Barangays, Barangay Kagawads, Barangay Secretaries, Barangay Treasurers and Barangay Tanods, who are banned from serving as chairmen or members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) or as official watchers of any candidate, duly registered major political party or any other socio-civic, religious or professional organizations in the May 14, 2007.

The Comelec resolution reiterates an earlier Executive Order Number 94 on March 2, 1987.  The resolution was issued in reaction to numerous complaints in the past regarding the involvement of barangay officials in proceedings inside polling precincts, which heightened political tension and caused delays in counting.

The resolution likewise forbids barangay officials from staying inside the polling place except to cast their vote. They are to leave the area immediately after casting their ballots.

There are 1,390 barangays in the six provinces, four cities and 139 municipalities region-wide, and around 42,000 in all nationwide.