Thursday, October 7, 2010

Philippines Terrorist Group Abu Sayyaf to run in elections

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is divided as to whether Abu Sayyaf group members can seek post for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

One side stated that they might do so for as long as there are no legal impediments of conviction or disqualifications under existing laws.Comelec spokesman James Jimenez made the statement after receiving reports that some members and supporters of Abu Sayyaf were running in the incoming October 25 polls. Jimenez said that barangay election is a non-partisan and non-political activity, hence, he sees no problem in case they will run for the barangay and SK elections.

“There’s no problem with that. Remember, the barangay elections is non-partisan and non-political. And as a general principle, even persons with pending criminal cases can run for office, as long as there is no conviction.” said Jimenez.

However, Comelec Law Department head lawyer Ferdinand Rafa-nan states otherwise.

He said that Abu Sayyaf are considered “outlaw” or fugitive from justice.

It was pointed out that under the Omnibus Election Code, those who are fugitives would be disqualified to run even if there is no final judgment in his criminal case.

In the meantime, the Comelec spokesman said that in order to maintain a non-partisan activity in the barangay and SK polls, the Comelec prohibited political parties and government officials (whether elective or appointive) to support candidates for the barangay and SK polls.

Under Comelec Resolution 9043, approved by the Comelec en banc, it was stated that any person who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) would not be allowed to represent any political party or coalition.

Any political party or coalition will be prohibited from assisting a candidate to file their COCs for the barangay and SK posts.
Financial grants or aids are also prohibited.

With this, the Comelec warned that those who shall violate the same would be sanctioned. Their registration with the Comelec shall be revoked and shall suffer an imprisonment from one to six years, plus disqualification to hold any public office and to run in any elective post.Manila Post

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