Senatorial bet Romulo Macalintal on Monday asked the Commission on Elections to come out with a statement discouraging barangay officials from supporting candidates in the 2019 elections.
“May I respectfully request the Honorable Commission to issue an official clarification and/or instruction to your officials and personnel that, based on existing laws and jurisprudence, barangay officials are not prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity or from campaigning for or against any candidate in the May 13 elections,” Macalintal said in a letter submitted to the poll body.
“I am sure that this issue had already reached the attention of this honorable commission but you have not yet issued any official statement in relation thereto,” he added.
The election lawyer made the request after incumbent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials have consulted him on whether they can endorse candidates or not.
Village and youth officials were supposedly told by local Comelec personnel or by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that they should remain non-partisan during elections.
Macalintal said Section 2(4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution as well as the decision of the Supreme Court in the Quinto vs Comelec case back in February 2010 provides that such a ban “does not cover elected officials” notwithstanding the fact that the civil service embraces all branches and agencies of the government.
Earlier, the DILG asked the poll body to look into the supposed partisan political activities of 52 elected barangay officials.
The letter was supported by former Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes and lawyer George Garcia.