Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections

The time has come once again for all of us to exercise one of our most crucial rights in today’s democracy: our right to vote.

On 14 May 2018, today, the country comes together for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections. To be elected are the positions of punong barangay (village captain); seven (7) kagawads (members of the Sangguniang Barangay or village council); an SK chairperson, and seven (7) SK members.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urges all those exercising their right to vote this election to exercise it with utmost responsibility.

We will cast our votes for our barangay officials, with the hope that these candidates—with their work and their dedication—will help us move towards improving our communities.

In light of this, we hope that all voters do not engage with any of the prohibited campaign methods that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has clearly listed out prior to the election. As responsible voters, we must not encourage such blatant disregard of the law, especially in our future and potential public officials.

CHR would also like to remind all those who are involved in the polling process to ensure that senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are properly assisted and accommodated at their precincts. As detailed in RA No. 10366, it is Comelec’s responsibility to make sure senior Citizens and PWDs are able to “exercise their right to political participation without discrimination or restrictions.” Those who are currently behind bars are also allowed to exercise their right to vote, and should not be denied the chance to do so this coming election. Detainees, for as long they have not been convicted, can participate in this political exercise.

The Commission hopes for a smooth election—one free from delays, misdemeanor, and violence—and looks forward to continue working with the Filipino people and their local, barangay officials towards a better and safer Philippines. ■