Filing of COC begins in Marawi City for special elections

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2018   •   5646


MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Election (Comelec) has begun accepting on Thursday (August 23) certificates of candidacy (COC) in Marawi City for the special conduct of the Barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan Elections (BKSE).

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the agency will set up alternative voting centers for residents in barangays worst affected by the siege.

The election period in the war-torn city began on August 17 and will run until September 29.

The campaign period will start on September 12 while election day is on September 22, 2018. – UNTV News & Rescue


Comelec’s nationwide gun ban to take effect Jan. 13

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Coinciding with the start of the election period, the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) nationwide implementation of the gun ban also takes effect on Sunday (January 13).

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), all gun owners’ Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) will be temporarily suspended on the course of the election period.

This means, only those with gun ban exemption coming from the poll body will be allowed to carry their respective firearms.

 PNP-FEO Director PCSupt. Val de Leon warned violators of possible charges of illegal possession of firearms and violations of the Omnibus Election Code.

“Ipinagbabawal ang paglipat ng employees under civil service rules at tsaka yung permit to carry is suspended. However, the movements of controlled chemicals, firearms and permit to carry is allowed if the Comelec grants exemptions,” De Leon said.

De Leon clarified that a gun owner does not have the liberty to carry his or her firearm while the gun ban exemption is on process.

“That is subject for confiscation and corresponding cases will be filed. You already enjoy carrying of firearms kung under process ka. Paano kung na-deny?” he said.

Meanwhile, De Leon advised the public to expect more checkpoints across the country.

He added that a legitimate checkpoint is situated in a well-lit area, manned by a PNP official, a Comelec representative and well-uniformed cops with proper ID. It should also have a proper signage.

Checkpoint police can only do plain view inspection. They cannot ask motorists to open the door and trunk of the vehicle.

The PNP, meanwhile, advised motorists to turn off the headlight, open the inner light of the car and lower down the window shield when at a checkpoint area. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Comelec: Final list of candidates to be out in December

Marje Pelayo   •   October 18, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The period of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 mid-term elections has just concluded.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said they will immediately start the evaluation of the COCs as they need to screen thousands of them to include those from different parts of the country.

“We expect to have that information out by December…by tomorrow we expect na magdadatingan ang mga filing from different provinces so we will start the evaluation process right away. Pero since napakarami ng nag-file sa atin, we have thousands of COCs literally to go through. Again, by December, matatapos natin iyan,” said Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez.

Overall, the poll body received a total of 152 COCs for the senatorial race and 185 certificates of nomination and acceptance (CONA) at the Comelec Main office in Manila.

Jimenez said generally the five-day period of filing the COCs was peaceful except for some problems like filers using the old version of the COC and the lax in security during the filing of former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

The poll body, however, clarified that there was no standoff.

“We investigated on the event for what happened, it turns out that there were other people who joined the entourage or the companions so it appeared that there were too many companions of one candidate when in fact these were companions drawn from various other candidacies,” Jimenez explained.

“I speak for the Commission comfortably and with confidence when I say that the Commission will always be fair and transparent in our dealings with the candidates,” he added.

The poll body also reminded all candidates that they can submit substitution for candidacy only until November 29, 2018.

“Ang voluntary withdrawal pwedeng samahan iyan ng substitution of candidate. Kailangan lamang, kapartido mo ang magsa-substitute para sa iyo. Hanggang November 29 iyan. After Novermber 29, involuntary withdrawal na lang ang allowed,” the Comelec spokesperson said.

The Comelec is expected to issue the final list by December 15, 2018.

The poll body also wants to make it clear that the campaign period for the senatorial candidates and party-list groups will be from February 12 to May 11, 2019.

Meanwhile, those running for a seat in the House of Representatives may only start campaigning on May 11, 2019.

In accordance with Resolution No. 10429, election period is set on January 13 until July 12, 2019 in which gun ban will also take effect.

Finally, election day will be on May 13, 2019, a Monday,

As always, the Comelec reminds the voting public to use their right to suffrage wisely.

“Hindi pa natin alam ang final list pero may idea na kayo kung sino ang dapat nating pag-aralan ang plataporma, ang ikinikilos sa gobyerno, sa pakikitungo sa tao. Dapat magdesisyon tayo ng tama para tama rin ang iboboto natin,” Jimenez concluded — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Marawi rehabilitation to kick off before end of October

admin   •   October 18, 2018

Aerial view of Marawi City via UNTV Drone

MARAWI CITY, Philippines — A year since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorists on October 17, 2017, residents still cannot shake off the fear that a similar incident could descend upon them again.

“Yung takot di naman mawawala yun eh. Kasi ever since hindi nangyari sa amin itong ganito, tapos bigla na lang nangyari. Kaya sa puso namin may takot pa rin kami (The fear never goes away. We’ve never had any incidents until the battle broke out all of a sudden. That is why there is still fear in our hearts),” said Norfaidah Magdara, a businesswoman and resident of Marawi.

College student Salmiah Maca Agir echoed the same apprehensions.

“We feel secure na rin po pero may mga time pa rin po na natatakot ka kasi we never know po na may panahon na magkakaroon ng ganong pangyayari ulit (We feel secure in a way, but there are times that we still feel afraid because you don’t know when a similar incident will strike again),” she said.

Those who are still stuck in evacuation centers lament the long wait for the promised housing units.

“Even though sinasabi nla na liberated na nga pero yung idea na wala ka pa rin sa bahay mo wala ka pa rin sa sinasabi mong home (Even though they say we have been liberated, we still don’t have houses we can call home)” said Agir.

According to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), debris clearing operations in the most affected area will begin this month.

By the end of October they expect to finally hold the long-awaited ground breaking ceremony of the city’s rehabilitation which will be led by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In the next few days we will see the deployment of heavy equipment, mga gamit na gagamitin sa (and materials needed for ) debris clearing in sectors 1&2,” TFBM field office manager. Asec. Felix Castro said.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the local government is grateful for all the assistance being given to them; however, they admit feeling frustrated by the slow progress of the rehabilitation efforts.

“Ako’y naiinip but at the same time naintindihan ko ang ating gobyerno. Ako po ay nasa gobyerno at alam ko ang proseso. Even sa local po yung pag iimplement natin ng mga projects dumadaan sa proseso (I am frustrated but at the same time I understand the government’s side. I am part of the government and I’m familiar with the process. Even in the local level, implementations of project go through a process),” he said.

At present, life in Marawi City is slowly returning to normal, particularly in Barangay Basak Malutlut where the battle began in May 2017. — Weng Fernandez


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