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64 candidates in 2019 elections apply for police escorts

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: Philippine National Police

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Several politicians vying for elections in 2019 have applied for police escorts, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to the PNP Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG), 64 candidates have already submitted their formal request to the agency following a number of ambush incidents against politicians in Batangas, Cavite and La Union.

Among those who asked for police escorts are three senators; 49 congressmen; 6 local chief executives; three former government officials and three private individuals running for the elections in May.

A total of 116 police escorts will be assigned to them once the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approves it.

“For those who will be running for elective positions, they have to reapply with the Comelec, so they have to download the requirements from Comelec website. Ang magiging role lang po ng PSPG is to certify that the personnel or a member of PSPG and the firearms are issued for the personnel of PSPG,” said PCSupt. Filmore Escobal, PSPG Director.

Escobal said they are expecting more applications in the coming days especially from areas with intense political rivalry.

“There are certain instances na merong intense political rivalry na nare-report in some areas, so ang security personnel ay isang preventive measures para ma-achieve natin yung goal natin na maging peaceful ang elections,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Escobal said all existing security escorts of incumbent politicians will remain.

The PSPG reminds politicians, however, to ask permission from the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) of the PNP and from Comelec should they wish to have additional escorts form the Protective Security Agency so as not to be associated with a private armed group. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Comelec: Official list of election candidates out on Dec. 15

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has finished screening all certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 midterm elections.

In an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Tuesday (December 11), Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez assured that list of official candidates is now ready for release on Saturday (December 15).

Jimenez assured they already weeded out all nuisance candidates from the list and all names are only of those who passed the requirements set by the agency.

The poll official clarified, however, that those who will be considered nuisance are given five to 10 days after release of list to appeal.

An election candidate is considered a nuisance under the Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code if he or she has the intent to make mockery of the election process; he or she has no bona fide intention or good faith to run in the election; or if he or she has causes confusion to the voting public through the similarity of his or her name to other registered candidates.

Jimenez added that any candidate who has no machinery or no capacity to fund a campaign or has no network of connections or supporters to sponsor his or her candidacy, will also be considered a nuisance.

“Hindi na magkakaroon ng hiwalay na deklarasyon na ito nuisance. Basta ilalabas na lamang namin yung final list kung wala ka dun ibig sabihin natanggal ka. Therefore, iyon lang ang lalabas sa balota,” he stressed.

The printing of official election ballots will commence in January next year. Jimenez said if there are names included in the list but will be disqualified along the way, the votes they will gain will automatically be voided.

Jimenez, however, admitted that the country’s election law is toothless when it comes to premature campaigning.

“Kung bawal ang premature campaigning sa kandidato tapos iaaply mo yung 2nd provision na nagsasabi na kung anu man ang pwedeng ipagbawal hindi pwedeng ipagbawal hanggat hindi nagsisimula ang campaign period. Ang resulta nyan is yung bawal pwede lang ipagbawal sa simula ng campaign period,” he explained.

It can be noted that Comelec has appealed to the lawmakers to draft a common guideline against those who will practice premature campaigning.

The measure is still pending in the Senate.

Comelec noted that automation is still better than manual elections. In fact, he explained, that those who were once critics of automated election system are now running for the 2019 polls.

This means, according to Jimenez, that the trust of the people on automated election has improved. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Comelec to extend voting hours in May 2019 midterm elections

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to extend the voting period by one hour in the upcoming 2019 midterm polls.

According to Comelec Resolution No. 10460, voting period shall now be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The previous voting hours were from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Comelec Spokesman Director James Jimenez said this adjustment will accommodate more voters in the coming election.

People who are still in the queue at 6:00 p.m., will still be allowed to vote as long as they are within the 30-meter distance from the precinct door.

Comelec believes that the time adjustment will increase voter turnout which is expected to reach up to 61 million registered voters — a five percent increase from the 58 million in the 2016 national elections.  – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Comelec begins acceptance of application for gun ban exemptions

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018



MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started accepting applications for gun ban exemption in relation to the upcoming 2019 midterm polls in accordance with Comelec Resolution 10446.

Any individual who wishes to be exempted from the ban must apply for appropriate Certificate of Authority at the Comelec Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBSFP) at the poll body’s main office in Intramuros, Manila.

The gun ban will take effect starting January 13, 2019 until June 12, 2019 on the duration of the election period prior to the election proper in May next year.

Once the gun ban takes effect, gun owners cannot bring their firearms with them in public places.

Deliveries of firearms, ammunition and explosives without proper certifications are also not allowed.

Any individual who will be found violating the election gun ban will be arrested and charged with an election offense under the Omnibus Election Code. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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