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DILG orders barangays to submit report of SK expenditures for last year, sets March 15 deadline

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A Barangay election precinct

MANILA, Philippines — As preparation for the upcoming village and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on the 14th of May.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded all barangays to submit their report on where the funds of their respective SK councils went to last year.

The DILG said that the move aims to ensure that all funds for SK directly benefit the youth.

Based on the guidelines of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), 10 percent of the general fund of barangays allotted to councils should be used for youth development and empowerment programs until new SK officials are elected.

The DILG has given barangays until March 15 to submit their respective reports. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec: Martial law favorable to BOL plebiscite, 2019 elections in Mindanao

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Philippine army man the checkpoint at the entrance of Maguindanao province, 11 May 2013. Security is tightened as political tension rises two days before the Philippine midterm election in the province. Maguindanao is among the election hot spots tagged by Comelec.

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – On January 21 next year, The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold the plebiscite in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in Isabela City in Basilan, and in Cotabato City.

The plebiscite will determine if residents are in favor of the passage of the Bangasamoro Organic Law that will govern the proposed Bangsamoro region.

According to Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez, a second plebiscite will be held in February in 19 barangays that wish to be included in the new Bangsamoro region.

“Ang unang plebisito ang dedesisyunan niya kung mararatify ba ang BOL o hindi. Ang susunod na eleksyon, ang susunod na plebisito para doon sa mga lugar na gustong sumali kung matutuloy ang pagsali nila sa Bangsamoro,” Jimenez explained in an interview with the program ‘Get It Straight with Daniel Razon’ on Tuesday (December 11).

Jimenez said the poll body has already printed 2.8 million ballots for the plebiscite which they have started distributing in areas where the plebiscite will be held.

Former Commissioner Samira Gutuc of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) hopes that the plebiscite will be a success.

She expressed concern of the possible consequences should the BOL fails citing the impending petition against its passage in the Supreme Court (SC).

“Baka the Supreme Court would look at the petition against the BOL favorably at baka hindi maiakyat ang batas BOL sa implimentasyon. Pagka walang BOL at walang boto ng ‘yes’ ngayong January, ay baka balik tayo sa ARMM at magkakagulo ang Mindanao ulit,” Gutuc explained.

 On the other hand, the former commissioner believes that the recent approval to extend the martial law in Mindanao may not be favorable to the conduct of the plebiscite and the midterm elections in 2019.

“Martial Law will not help a free and shared democratic debate over BOL,” she argued.

Some opposition personalities who are running in next year’s elections agreed with Gutuc on the matter.

“Sa buong panahon na nasa ilalim ng martial law ang Mindanao, hindi umangat ang kabuhayan ng mga kababyan natin doon,” former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada said.

“Ang ikinakatakot natin dito, bumababa yung batayan sa pagdedeklara ng Martial Law kaya pwedeng ikasa na yung lahat ng elemento para magdeklara ng isang nationwide Martial Law,” former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay noted.

“Kapag sinabi nating Martial Law, that is an emergency power. May emergency pa ba sa Mindanao?” argued Atty Jose Manuel Diokno, a senatorial candidate in 2019.

Despite the oppositions, the Comelec and the Palace believe that the extension of Martial rule in Mindanao will benefit both the conduct of the plebiscite and the 2019 midterm elections.

“From the point of view of election administration nakabuti pa actually ang martial law. Ang presensya ng military, it pacifies the area and it minimizes yung mga attack yung mga decedent forces,” Director Jimenez said.

I do not see any relation, what is the relation. In fact, martial law is even acceptable to people of Mindanao precisely because the security is kept. If there will be a plebiscite then people who would want to do something to derail the plebiscite, They will think twice because there is martial law. It’s even helpful,” Presidential Spokesperon Salvador Panelo concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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NPA’s holiday ceasefire a sham — Año

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

FILE PHOTO: New People’s Army

MANILA, Philippines — The unilateral ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is meaningless and for propaganda only, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

Ano added that the real reason for the declaration is to give the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), a chance to beef up their forces.

“Ito po ay isang malaking kalokohan. Huwag na nilang gamiting dahilan ang kapaskuhan sa pagkukunwari nila na magtitigil-putukan sila sa panahong iyon gayong alam naman nating magpapalakas lang sila ng puwersa (This is a big sham. They should not use the Christmas season for their supposed truce when we know they’re just reinforcing their group),” he said.

Just like the Department of National Defense (DND), the DILG is also not keen on recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of a holiday ceasefire with the communist rebels.

Año said the NPA would also just use the truce to launch an attack against government troops.

“Hindi natin pahihintulutan na muli naman tayong mahulog sa bitag. Nakita na natin sa mga nagdaang panahon ang kawalan ng sinseridad ng mga komunista at ng kanilang front organizations (We will not allow ourselves to fall into the same trap again. We have seen time and again the insincerity of the Communists and their front organizations),” he said.

The DILG Chief insists that if the CPP is truly sincere on pursuing peace, its founding chair, Joma Sison, should return to the Philippines and meet with the President. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec intensifies campaign vs vote buying as 2019 election nears

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is busy with its preparations for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

Aside from this, Comelec reminded the public to vote wisely and warned candidates against vote buying.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said they have coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other groups to keep an eye on said election offense.

Comelec admitted that the battle against vote buying is a tough challenge, however, their work becomes easier with reports that help identify those who are engaged in vote buying.

“Vote buying remains a problem but over the last two elections. We’ve been making advances dahil nakikipag-ugnayan tayo sa PNP and sa mga local groups ngayon ang pinanggagalingan ng reports na nakukuha natin,” said Jimenez.

Comelec explained that cash is not the sole means to buy a person’s vote.

In the previous elections, offers ranged from livestock, vegetables, sacks of rice, and grocery items.

Jimenez said a few cash is not worth handing the country’s management over to corrupt officials.

“Kahit sabihin mo ng limang libong worth of something, limang libo lang iyan hindi tatagal iyan pero iyong serbisyo na mawawala sa inyo dahil binigay niyo sa taong walang pakialam sa kapakanan ninyo. Tatlong taon niyong iindahin iyon at kung minalas-malas kayo baka ang umalit sa kaniya kamag-anak  pa rin,” said Jimenez.

Apart from cash and products, election candidates take advantage of government services to score a vote.

“We’ve also had cases of vote buying where being promised were insurance cards, and in some cases membership in government. Dole out programs, those are particularly disturbing,” said the spokesperson.

The Omnibus Election Code states that any candidate who is proven to have engaged in vote buying, may face disqualification, imprisonment and lose the right to vote. —  UNTV News & Rescue

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