MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned barangay officials against endorsing and campaigning for candidates during the election season.
In a radio interview, Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño said the prohibition applies to all village officials -- chairpersons, kagawads (council members), secretaries, and treasurers.
“Ngayon pag nakuhanan kayo ng litrato, nakuhanan kayo ng video (supporting political bets) tapos finile-an kayo ng kaso sa Civil Service (Commission) or sa office of the, yung sa Comelec (Commission on Elections), pasensyahan tayo dahil may power ang Comelec to suspend, to suspend or to remove (barangay officials) from (public) office (Now if photos or videos of you supporting political bets are taken and then cases are filed before the Civil Service Commission or at the Comelec office I am sorry, since the Comelec has the power to suspend or remove barangay offices from public office),’’ Diño said.
He, however, said elective officials such as president, vice president, senators, congressmen, governors, vice-governors, mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, and Cabinet secretaries may endorse the political candidates of their choice.
This came amid clamors from citizens that many village officials still openly support candidates and even join their sorties and that only a few of them are penalized due to election offenses.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also reminded barangay officials that "any semblance of campaigning" including the wearing of outfits akin to the political color of a candidate is illegal, noting that they should be "apolitical".
He also warned local chief executives not to allow the use of resources of local government units in election campaign activities. (PNA)