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All systems ready for BSKE 2023 -Comelec

SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here is now in the final phase of preparations for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023.

In a radio program, Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) lawyer Salud Milagros C. Villanueva said that one of the remaining activities being undertaken by Comelec Antique is the training for poll workers, such as members of the electoral board and board of canvassers.

Comelec also continues to hold briefings to candidates about election dos and don'ts, giving emphasis on the government's intensified campaign against vote-buying and vote-selling and stressing repercussions for committing election offenses.

Earlier this month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also launched the Committee on Kontra Bigay (CKB) to strengthen the implementation of policies against vote-buying and selling.

The permanent Committee seeks to provide a mechanism and structure for tackling vote-buying and selling through a whole-of-nation approach that involves concerned instrumentalities of the government.

Antique Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) lawyer Salud Milagros C. Villanueva (center) during her guesting in PIA Antique's radio program PAGPAATHAG.

Villanueva stressed that any candidate found by Comelec to have given, offered, or promised money or anything of value, including money through digital or online transactions, to influence anyone to vote for or against any candidate shall be disqualified and face criminal charges.

The Resolution, by virtue of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, also provides guidelines in the prosecution of vote-buying and selling as an election offense which holds liable the giver, offerer, and promisor, including the solicitor, acceptor, and recipient.

Orientation of poll workers in the Municipality of Hamtic, October 8. (Photo Courtesy: Comelec Hamtic)

The Committee, alongside its accredited citizens’ arms Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), also administers the Kontra Bigay Complaint Center (KBCC) that receives reports and incidents of vote-buying and selling.

KBCC, which is open from 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. until Oct. 28 and for 24 hours from Oct. 29-31, may be reached through its official social media accounts, email address at committee.kontrabigay@, and hotline numbers (02)8559-9947 or (02)8567-4567.

Further, complaints may be filed with Comelec’s Law Department, the offices of the Election Officer (EO), the Provincial Elections Supervisor (PES), the Regional

Election Director, or the offices of the State, Provincial, or City Prosecutors where the alleged election offense of vote-buying and selling happened.

Vote-buying and vote-selling are criminal charges penalized with imprisonment of at least one year but not more than six years, apart from other penalties under existing laws.

Considering the final preparations of Comelec and partner national government agencies (NGAs) and the intensified efforts against election illegalities, Villanueva said that all systems are in place for the 2023 local elections on Oct. 30. (AGP/BPS/PIA Antique/Photo courtesy of Comelec Laua-an)

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Bernard Ceasar Susbilla

Information Officer

Region 6

Electronics Engineer/Writer

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