JUST 132 days before the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 2019 elections, the nation goes to the polls anew today to elect new village and youth officials.
Although the two elections are non-partisan, certain local government officials and politicians seeking public office in next year’s balloting are known to support some of the candidates.
Up for grabs in today’s manual balloting, which is “democracy in action,” are 671,168 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) positions. Voting starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
Under the Philippine Constitution, tasked to protect the Filipino people’s constitutional right to elect government officials of their choice is the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Hopefully, the men and women in Comelec uniform will ably discharge their duties and responsibilities with dignity and honor considering the importance of having honest, credible and peaceful elections.
Thus, we cannot overemphasize the important role that the Comelec, a constitutional body which has grown in both size and complexity, plays in our political life.
As the late Senate President Gil J. Puyat once said, the true and express will of the people through the ballot must be kept inviolate irrespective of who or what political party is involved.
Admittedly, guarding the sanctity of the ballot is the noblest mission of the poll body. Thus, it is necessary that the voice of the people must be heard distinctly and recorded faithfully.
In fact, every vote is important as there are usually many tie votes in barangay and SK elections, according to Rene Sarmiento, chair of the poll watchdog group Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
Let’s then go out and vote as part of our duty as citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.