47 BSKE bets in Negros Occidental called out for premature campaigning

BACOLOD City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued show-cause orders to 47 candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in Negros Occidental for illegal or premature campaigning as of Monday night.

Provincial Elections Supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria told reporters on Tuesday that those ordered to explain by the Task Force Anti-Epal were from various cities and municipalities across the province.

“All of these are for premature campaigning. They send the show-cause orders along with evidence to prove,” he said.

The official campaign period for the Oct. 30 election is from Oct. 19 to 28.

The show-cause orders, 44 were sent to the Comelec-Negros Occidental on Monday alone, directed candidates to explain why they should not be disqualified from running.

These were issued to aspirants in the cities of Bacolod, with nine; Himamaylan, eight; Bago, three; Sipalay, two; La Carlota and Kabankalan, one each; and the municipality of E.B. Magalona, 23.

“They will have to submit their answer to the Task Force Anti-Epal. They can do it through a letter, but (much) better if through an affidavit. After which, we will wait for the action of the Task Force,” Ananoria said.

On Monday, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said a disqualified candidate would be removed automatically from the list of candidates.

“We won’t stop there. After that, we will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if we have probable cause, then let’s proceed with our election offense,” he added.

Violators can face administrative and criminal cases for violating Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning, aside from disqualification (Section 62) and election offenses (Section 262). (PNA)