Comelec to postpone Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Mindanao

UNTV News   •   September 6, 2017   •   5889

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The Commission on Elections has approved Tuesday the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Mindanao.

The poll suspension is in line with the ongoing armed conflict alongside the martial law declaration in the region.

The Comelec en banc came up with the decision as a result of their consultations on the issue.

In accordance with Section V of the Omnibus Election Code, the commission has the authority to postpone elections in a particular place if there is existing threat of terrorism, act of violence, and circumstances that would compromise a clean and peaceful elections. – UNTV News and Rescue

COMELEC eyes release of final list of 2022 poll bets on January 15

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is eyeing to release the final list of candidates for the May 2022 national and local elections by Saturday, January 15.

COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said they are also hoping to start the printing of official ballots by January 17.

Based on the poll body’s latest tentative list of candidates, there are 10 presidential aspirants for the upcoming elections.

The list includes former Palace Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Labor Leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Faisal Mangondato, Jose Montemayor, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Meanwhile, nine aspirants remain in the vice presidential race, while 64 are vying for a senate seat.

Nat’l Privacy Commission probing alleged COMELEC data hacking

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Wednesday said it is looking into the alleged hacking of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) data as reported by a local media publication.

In a statement, the NPC said it has issued separate orders to the COMELEC, Manila Bulletin and Mr. Art Samaniego to appear for a clarificatory meeting via teleconference on January 25 on the alleged hacking and data breach incident involving the COMELEC servers.

The NPC issued the statement two days after the Manila Bulletin published a report claiming a breach on COMELEC servers.

The commission said it received information about the report on January 8 from Samaniego, Technology Editor & IT Head of the Manila Bulletin, regarding a suspected breach on COMELEC servers wherein an estimated 60 gigabytes of data, which possibly contain personal information and sensitive personal information, were allegedly accessed and downloaded by a certain group of hackers.

The NPC said its Complaints and Investigation Division commenced an independent investigation and issued a notice to COMELEC requiring them to explain the alleged hacking and data breach.

“The COMELEC must address the serious allegations made in the Manila Bulletin news report and determine whether personal data were indeed compromised, particularly personal information, sensitive personal information, or data affecting the same, which were processed in connection with the upcoming 2022 national and local elections,” NPC Commissioner John Henry Naga said.

“COMELEC is also directed to conduct a comprehensive investigation on the matter and submit to the NPC the results thereof no later than January 21, 2022,” he added.

The poll body earlier said it is still validating the alleged hacking of poll data.

“Rest assured that the NPC does not tolerate any act in violation of the Data Privacy Act including negligence in implementing organizational, physical, and technical security measures on personal data processing systems, whether in government or private institutions,” Naga said.

PNP nabs 5 violators on first day of election gun ban

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Five persons were arrested on the first day of the implementation of the election gun ban on January 9, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported.

In a statement, the PNP said two were nabbed at checkpoints in Metro Manila and three in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Zamboanga Peninsula Police Regional Office identified the apprehended individuals as Wendell Datoy, and Earon Jay Mascara, and his 17-year old companion.

Police said Datoy was arrested after he failed to show any authorization when he was found carrying a caliber .45 pistol during an inspection at a checkpoint along Barangay Poblacion in Zamboanga Sibugay around 12:50 a.m.

Mascara and his companion, who were in possession of a replica model 1911, were nabbed after they were intercepted by police in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Kabasalan in Zamboanga Sibugay around 4:15 a.m.

In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Police Major General Vicente Danao Jr. identified the two arrested individuals as Jerwin Gubaton and John Paul Dunlao.

Gubaton was initially intercepted at a checkpoint along C4 road, Brgy. Bagumbayan North, Navotas City for not wearing a face mask but when he alighted from his tricycle, a caliber .38 tucked under his waistband fell to the ground.

“Gubaton was promptly arrested and booked for violation of Republic Act 10591 and the Omnibus Election Code,” police said.

Dunlao was initially stopped at a separate checkpoint along Rotonda, Amparo Subdivision, Brgy. 179, Caloocan City for not wearing a helmet, but police found a caliber .38 with four live ammunition in his possession as he was reaching for the motorcycle papers from his belt bag.

“These early results of our strict implementation of COMELEC Resolution No. 10728 more or less describe the overall aggressiveness of police operations against violators of election law,” PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said.

The gun ban took effect on January 9, which marks the start of the period for the May 2022 national and local elections. The election period will last until June 8.

Carlos reminded the public that during the nationwide gun ban, the permit to carry firearms outside of residence for civilians is suspended.

Law enforcers, including police officers, are exempted from the ban “as long as they bring their issued firearms while in uniform and in the performance of official duty.”

“It should be understood that only on-duty police personnel, clearly identified as members of the PNP are allowed to carry their firearms,” Carlos said.

“Any citizen may report to the PNP any police personnel abusing or violating this rule. We want to maintain discipline among our personnel,” he added.

Carlos also reminded police personnel that COMELEC checkpoints are limited to visual search only.

“But if the need arises, especially under conditions authorized by law, the police may conduct further inspection,” Carlos said.

“Any person with firearms will be courteously asked to show a copy of a valid Certificate of Authority that exempts him/her from the gun ban. If none, then the individual can be a candidate for violating the COMELEC Rules,” he added.

Persons violating the gun ban may be charged with illegal possession of firearms, in accordance with Comelec Resolution 10741 that mandates the establishment of checkpoints and prohibition of bearing, carrying, and transporting firearms or other deadly weapons.

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