INTRAMUROS, Manila - THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Law Department has summoned former President Benigno Aquino III and two former Cabinet secretaries to an investigation into an alleged election offense involving the purchase of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2012
|Manoling Morato and Maggie dela Riva|
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines (18 May 2012) - The Commission on Elections on Friday said it found probable cause against former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Manuel "Manoling" Morato, for possible violation of election laws when he used his television show in 2010 to endorse the candidacies of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and actor Edu Manzano for president and vice president.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
By: Herbie Gomez
9 February 2012
2010 ELECTION MESS AT 'BASURAHAN'
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has held former Cagayan de Oro elections officer Gina Zayas Sabio liable in connection with the mysterious dumping of election materials at the Carmen wasteyard in May 2010, ex-senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said yesterday.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Resolution No. 9029 - Guidelines on the Filing of Certificates of Candidacy for Barangay & SK Elections
RESOLUTION No. 9029
GUIDELINES ON THE FILING OF CERTIFICATES OF CANDIDACY IN CONNECTION WITH THE OCTOBER 25, 2010 BARANGAY AND SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN ELECTIONS
GUIDELINES ON THE FILING OF CERTIFICATES OF CANDIDACY IN CONNECTION WITH THE OCTOBER 25, 2010 BARANGAY AND SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN ELECTIONS
Promulgation: 21 September 2010
The Commission on Elections, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 9164, and other election laws, RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to promulgate the following guidelines on the filing of certificates of candidacy in connection with the October 25, 2010 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
SECTION 1. Officials to be elected. - The officials to be elected in each barangay are the following:
(a) For the Barangay Elections:
One (1) Punong Barangay and seven (7) Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad.(b) For the Sangguniang Kabataan Elections:
One (1) Chairman and seven (7) Sangguniang Kabataan Kagawad.
SEC. 2. Qualifications. - (a) Candidates for Punong Barangay and Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad must be:
(1) Filipino citizens;(2) At least 18 years old on election day;(3) Able to read and write Filipino or any local language or dialect; and(4) Registered voters of the barangay where they intend to run for office and residents thereof for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election.
(b) Candidates for Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman and Sanggguniang Kabataan Kagawad must be:
(1) Filipino citizens;(2) At least fifteen (15) years old but less than eighteen (18) years old on election day;(3) Able to read and write Filipino, English or the local dialect;(4) Qualified members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan of the barangay where they intend to run for office and residents thereof at least one (1) year immediately preceding the election; and(5) Must not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
SEC. 3. Disqualifications. - The following are disqualified from running for any elective barangay and sangguniang kabataan positions:
(a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, and within two (2) years after service of sentence;(b) Those removed from office as a result of an administrative case;(c) Those convicted by final judgment for violating the oath of allegiance to the Republic;(d) Those with dual citizenship unless at the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy, he makes a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath;
(e) Fugitives from justice in criminal or nonpolitical cases here or abroad. A fugitive from justice includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who, after being charged, flee to avoid prosecution;(f) Permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside abroad and continue to avail themselves of the same right after the effectivity of the Local Government Code;(g) The insane or feeble-minded;(h) Any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a party, is declared by final decision of a competent court to be guilty of having, or is found by the Commission to have committed the following acts shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate or, if already elected, from holding office:(1) Given money or other material consideration to influence or induce voters to vote for or against a candidate, or to abstain from voting, or to corrupt government officials and employees performing election functions;(2) Committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy;(3) Spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by law;(4) Solicited, received, or made any contribution prohibited under Secs. 89, 95, 96, 97 and 104 of the Omnibus Election Code;(5) Violated any of Secs. 83, 86 and 261 (pars. e, k, v and cc, sub par. 6) of the same Code; or(6) Those who have been elected and served for three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected.
SEC. 4. Candidates holding appointive or elective office. - Appointive barangay, city/municipal, provincial, regional, or national officials or employees, or those in the civil or military service, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of filing of his certificate of candidacy for a barangay or sangguniang kabataan office.
For incumbent municipal, city, provincial and national elective officials running for any barangay elective position shall also be considered ipso facto resigned upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy.
SEC. 5. Certificate of candidacy. - Any person running as candidate for Punong Barangay, Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad, Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman or Sangguniang Kabataan Kagawad shall file a sworn certificate of candidacy in triplicate in the form attached herein as Annexes "A", "A-1", "B" and "B-1" respectively. The format of the certificate of candidacy may be obtained from the Election Officer, free of charge or may be downloaded from the Comelec website at www.comelec.gov.ph.
The certificate of candidacy shall be filed during regular working hours, from 8:00 o'clock in the morning to 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, from October 1, 2010 to October 13, 2010, inclusive, with the Office of the Election Officer of the city/municipality concerned. However, on the last day of filing, the Office of the Election Officer shall receive the certificates of candidacy until 12:00 o'clock midnight.
Certificates of candidacy shall be filed personally or through a duly authorized representative who must present a written authorization under oath. No certificate of candidacy shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile.
No person shall be eligible to run for more than one office, that is, Punong Barangay and Barangay Kagawad, and if he files his certificate of candidacy for more than one office, he shall not be eligible for any one of them. However, before the expiration of the period for the filing of certificate of candidacy, the person who has filed a certificate of candidacy for more than one office may declare under oath the office for which he desires to be elected and cancel the certificate of candidacy for the other office.
In cities/municipalities where there are two or more Election Officers, the certificate of calididacy shall be filed with the Office of the Election Officer having jurisdiction over the barangay where he is a candidate.
The Election Officer or any authorized employee receiving the certificate shall record in separate logbooks, the date and time of receipt of the certificates of candidacy of barangay and sangguniang kabataan candidates. The date and time of receipt shall also be indicated in each copy of the certificate of candidacy.
SEC. 6. Contents of certificate of candidacy. - The certificate of candidacy shall contain the following:
(A) A statement announcing the candidacy of the person filing it;(b) The position for which he is a candidate;(c) A statement that he is eligible for said position;(d) His citizenship, residence and date of birth;(e) His post office address for election purpose;(f) His profession or occupation;(g) A statement that he is eligible for the office he is running for;(h) A statement that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and maintain true faith and allegiance thereto, and that he will obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly-constituted authorities;(i) A declaration that he is not a permanent resident of, or an immigrant to, a foreign country;(j) That he assumes the obligations imposed by his oath voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge; and(k) Such other data as may be required by the Commission.
Unless a candidate has officially changed his name through a court approved proceeding, a candidate shall use in his certificate of candidacy the name by which he has been baptized, or if he has not been baptized in any church or religion, the name registered in the office of the local civil registrar or any other name allowed under the provisions of existing law or, in the case of a Muslim, his Hadj name after performing the prescribed religious pilgrimage. However, when there are two (2) or more candidates for the same office with the same name and surname, each candidate, upon being made aware of such fact, shall state his paternal and maternal surnames, except an incumbent who may continue to use the name and surname stated in his certificate of candidacy when he was elected. He may also include one (1) nickname or stage name by which he is generally or popularly known in the locality. Titles such as Don, Hadji, Datu, Atty., Dr. or other words of similar import shall not be allowed.
SEC. 7. Certificates of candidacy filed by persons who are not registered voters or those filed through mail, telegram, facsimile. Effect. - Certificates of candidacy of persons who are not registered voters in the barangay where they intend to run; or those filed through mail, telegram or facsimile shall not be accepted. For this purpose, the Election Officer shall issue a Certification to the persons whose certificate of candidacy has not been accepted.
SEC. 8. Distribution of certificates of candidacy and preparation of list of candidates. - (a) Copies of the certificate of candidacy shall be distributed by the Election Officer as follows:
(1) For Barangay Officials:
- First Copy, to the Election Records and Statistics Department, Commission on Elections, Manila;
- Second Copy, to be retained by the Election Officer for his file; and
- Third Copy, to be retained by the candidate concerned.(2) For Sangguniang Kabataan Officials:
- First copy, to the Election Records and Statistics Department, Commission on Elections, Manila;
- Second copy, to be retained by the Election Officer for his file; and
- Third copy, to be retained by the candidate concerned.
(b) Immediately after the last day for the filling of certificates of candidacy, the Election Officer shall prepare a certified consolidated list of all candidates for elective Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials per barangay.
(c) Within two (2) days after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy, the Election Officer shall transmit to the Election Records and Statistics Department, Commission on Elections, Manila the following:
- a copy of the said list of candidates together with the first copy of the certificates of candidacy of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan candidates; and
- a list of persons whose certificates of candidacy were not accepted and the reason/s for non-acceptance.
(d) At least seven (7) days before election day or not later than October 18, 2010, the Election Officer shall post copies of said lists in the barangay hall and in three, (3) other conspicuous places in the barangay.
(e) The Election Records and Statistics Department shall acknowledge receipt of said copies and list within two (2) days from receipt thereof.
SEC. 9. Withdrawal of certificate of candidacy. - Any person who has filed a certificate of candidacy may withdraw it at any time before election day. A sworn declaration of withdrawal shall be filed personally, in triplicate with the Office of the Election Officer where the certificate of candidacy was filed. The certificate of candidacy shall be deemed withdrawn upon filing of the sworn declaration of withdrawal.
The declaration of withdrawal shall be distributed in the same manner as the certificates of candidacy, furnishing a copy or copies thereof to the Board(s) of Election Tellers concerned.
The copy for the Election Records and Statistics Department, Commission on Elections, Manila shall be transmitted within twenty-four (24) hours from the filing of the declaration. The Election Records and Statistics Department shall immediately acknowledge receipt thereof.
The filing or withdrawal of a certificate of candidacy shall not affect any civil, criminal or administrative liabilities of the candidate concerned.
SEC. 10. Substitution of candidates. - There shall be no substitution of candidates for sangguniang kabataan elections, but substitution by the spouse shall be allowed for candidates for barangay elections.
The substitute for a candidate who died or suffered permanent incapacity or disqualified by final judgment, may file his certificate of candidacy up to mid-day of election day, 12 o'clock noon of October 25, 2010. If the death or permanent disability should occur between the day before the election and mid-day of election day, the substitute candidate may file the certificate with any Board of Election Tellers (BET) in the political subdivision where he is a candidate.
SEC. 11. Authority of the Election Officer to administer oath. - For purposes of the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections the Election Officer shall be authorized to administer oaths, free of charge, on all matters related to the conduct of said elections, including the administration of oath to certificates of candidacy.
SEC. 12. Effectivity. - This Resolution shall take effect on the seventh day after its publication in two (2) daily newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.
SEC. 13. Dissemination. - The Education and Information Department shall cause the immediate publication of this resolution, give the same the widest dissemination possible and furnish copies thereof to all Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors and Election Officers.
|(Sgd.) JOSE A.R. MELO|
|(Sgd.) RENE V. SARMIENTO |
|(Sgd.) NICODEMO T. FERRER|
|(Sgd.) LUCENITO N. TAGLE |
|(Sgd.) ARMANDO C. VELASCO |
|(Sgd.) ELIAS R. YUSOPH |
|(Voted in favor of this resolution, but on |
official business at the time of its signing.)
GREGORIO Y. LARRAZABAL
Monday, November 9, 2009
Does the Commission on Elections have the power to postpone or continue elections?
This question is raised after news leaked out the other day saying that the poll chief airs concern over the possible delay in the delivery and configuration of the of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS), the machine that will count the ballot at the precinct level.
"I want to be sure that the machines will come on time. Until I see it, I’m worried," Comelec chair Jose Melo told reporters in an interview.
Although the poll officials say the preparations for the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections are going smoothly, they have to be ready for major glitches coming up along the way.
First, if the scheduled delivery of the PCOS machines pushes through smoothly, these machines have yet to undergo battery of tests before being configured for their respective precinct assignments.
"We’re still not out of the woods. If we haven’t tested all the machines, what do we do?" Chairman Melo said, adding that if worse comes to worst, they would have to conduct a partial manual and partial automated elections.
Another development is now in the offing.
A group called the Concerned Citizens' Movement is asking the High Court to nullify the P7.2 billion poll automation contract due to two "supervening events" after the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the deal.
In a 25-page supplemental motion filed by lawyer Harry Roque, the movement said the Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) group violated the terms of its contract with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The petition said that Smartmatic-TIM had failed to come up with telecommunications facilities and charged that the consortium had subcontracted the manufacture of its counting machines.
While Smartmatic-TIM is supposed to ensure 100-percent coverage for the immediate transmission of election results from precincts nationwide, the petition said that a private study of the contract showed that it did not have the facilities to do this.
While the merits of case will still have to be determined by the High Tribunal, this query is raised: "May the COMELEC postpone or continue elections?"
The answer is in the affirmative.
As a matter of fact, in the case of Sanchez vs. Commission on Elections, (114 SCRA 454), the Supreme Court ruled that the Commission on Elections is authorized to declare a failure of election because of the terrorism that attended the counting of the votes and the preparation of the election returns.
Likewise, Section 5 of B.P. Blg. 881 provides that:
"When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous cases of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect, but not later than thirty days after cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect."
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE
OFFICIAL BALLOTS AND ELECTION RETURNS
SEC. 181. Official ballots. - Ballots for national and local offices shall be of uniform size and color and shall be provided at public expense. They shall be printed on paper with watermarks or other marks that will readily distinguish the ballot paper from ordinary paper. Each ballot shall be in the shape of a strip with stub and detachable coupon containing the serial number of the ballot, and a space for the thumb mark of the voter on the detachable coupon. It shall bear at the top on the middle portion thereof the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines, the words "Official Ballot," the name of the city or the municipality and province in which the election is held, the date of the election, and the following notice: "Fill out this ballot secretly inside the voting booth. Do not put any distinctive mark on any part of this ballot."
The ballot shall also contain the names of all the offices to be voted for in the election, allowing opposite the name of each office, sufficient space or spaces with horizontal lines where the voter may write the name of names of the individual candidates voted for by him.
There shall not be anything on the reverse side of the ballot.
Ballots in cities and municipalities where Arabic is of general use shall have each of the titles of offices to be voted printed in Arabic in addition to and immediately below the English title.
Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, the Commission is hereby empowered to prescribe a different form of ballot to facilitate voting by illiterate voters and to use or adopt the latest technological and electronic devices as authorized under paragraph (i) of Section 52 hereof.
SEC. 182. Emergency ballots. - No ballots other than the official ballots shall be used or counted, except in the event of failure to receive the official ballots on time, or where there are no sufficient ballots for all registered voters or where they are destroyed at such time as shall render it impossible to provide other official ballots, in which cases the city or municipal treasurer shall provide other ballots which shall be as similar to the official ones as circumstances will permit and which shall be uniform within each polling place. The treasurer shall immediately report such action to the Commission.
The municipal treasurer shall not undertake the preparation of the emergency ballots unless the political parties, candidates and the organizations collectively authorized by the Commission to designate watchers have been sufficiently notified to send their representatives and have agreed in writing to the preparation and use of emergency ballots.
SEC. 183. Requisition of official ballots and election returns. - Official ballots and election returns shall be printed upon orders of the Commission. Requisition of official ballots shall be for each city and municipality, at the rate of one and one-fifth ballots for every registered voter in the next preceding election; and for election returns, at one set thereof for every polling place.
SEC. 184. Printing of official ballots and election returns. - The official ballots and election returns shall be printed by the Government Printing Office and/or the Central Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control of the Commission which shall determine and provide the necessary security measures in the printing, storage and distribution thereof.
Each ballot shall be joined by a perforated line to a stub numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality. Each ballot shall also have at the bottom a detachable coupon bearing the same number of the stub. Each pad of ballots shall bear on its cover the name of the city or municipality in which the ballots are to be used and the inclusive serial numbers of the ballots contained therein.
The official ballots shall be bound in separate pads of fifty or one hundred ballots each as may be required.
The election returns shall be prepared in sets of six copies per set and shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality. Each set of the election returns shall be printed in such a manner that will ensure that the entries on the original of the returns are clearly reproduced on the other copies thereof and shall bear the name of the city or municipality in which the returns are to be used. For this purposes, the Commission shall acquire, if necessary, a special kind of carbon paper or chemically treated paper.
SEC. 185. Sample official ballots. - The Commission shall provide the board of election inspectors with sample official ballots at the rate of thirty ballots per polling place. The sample official ballots shall be printed on colored paper, in all respects like the official ballots but bearing instead the words "Sample Official Ballot," to be shown to the public and used in demonstrating how to fill out and fold the official ballots properly. No name of any actual candidate shall be written on the spaces for voting on the sample official ballots provided by the Commission, nor shall they be used for voting.
Sec. 178. Official watchers of candidates. - Every registered political party, coalition of political parties and every independent candidate shall each be entitled to one watcher in every polling place.
No person shall be appointed watcher unless he is a qualified voter of the city or municipality, of good reputation and shall not have been convicted by final judgment of any election offense or of any other crime, must know how to read and write Pilipino, English, Spanish or any of the prevailing local dialects, and not related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to the chairman or any member of the board of election inspectors in the polling place where he seeks appointment as a watcher.
Each candidate, political party or coalition of political parties shall designate in every province, highly urbanized city or district in the Metropolitan Manila area, a representative authorized to appoint watchers, furnishing the provincial election supervisor or the city election registrar, as the case may be, the names of such representatives. The provincial election supervisors shall furnish the municipal election registrars and election registrars of component cities with the list of such representatives.
In the case of Metropolitan Manila, the designation of the persons authorized to appoint watchers shall be filed with the Commission, which shall furnish the list of such representatives to the respective city and municipal election registrars.
Sec. 179. Rights and duties of watchers. - Upon entering the polling place, the watchers shall present and deliver to the chairman of the board of election inspectors his appointment, and forthwith, his name shall be recorded in the minutes with a notation under his signature that he is not disqualified under the second paragraph of Section 178. The appointments of the watchers shall bear the personal signature or the facsimile signature of the candidate or the duly authorized representatives of the political party or coalition of political parties who appointed him or of organizations authorized by the Commission under Section 180. The watchers shall have the right to stay in the space reserved for them inside the polling place. They shall have the right to witness and inform themselves of the proceedings of the board of election inspectors, including its proceedings during the registration of voters, to take notes of what they may see or hear, to take photographs of the proceedings and incidents, if any, during the counting of votes, as well as of election returns, tally boards and ballot boxes, to file a protest against any irregularity or violation of law which they believe may have been committed by the board of election inspectors or by any of its members or by any persons, to obtain from the board of election inspectors a certificate as to the filing of such protest and/or of the resolution thereon, to read the ballots after they shall have been read by the chairman, as well as the election returns after they shall have been completed and signed by the members of the board of election inspectors without touching them, but they shall not speak to any member of the board of election inspectors, or to any voter, or among themselves, in such a manner as would distract the proceedings, and to be furnished with a certificate of the number of votes in words and figures cast for each candidate, duly signed and thumbmarked by the chairman and all the members of the board of election inspectors. Refusal of the chairman and the members of the board of election inspectors to sign and furnish such certificate shall constitute an election offense and shall be penalized under this Code.
Sec. 180. Other watchers. - The duly accredited citizens arm of the Commission shall be entitled to appoint a watcher in every polling place. Other civic, religious, professional, business, service, youth and any other similar organizations, with prior authority of the Commission, shall be entitled collectively to appoint one watcher in every polling place.
OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE
BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS
Sec. 164. Composition and appointment of board of election inspectors. - At least thirty days before the date when the voters list is to be prepare in accordance with this Code, in the case of a regular election or fifteen days before a special election, the Commission shall, directly or through its duly authorized representatives, constitute a board of election inspectors for each precinct to be composed of a chairman and a poll clerk who must be public school teachers, priority to be given to civil service eligibles, and two members, each representing the two accredited political parties. The appointment shall state the precinct to which they are assigned and the date of the appointment.
Sec. 166. Qualification of members of the board of election inspectors. - No person shall be appointed chairman, member or substitute member of the board of election inspectors unless he is of good moral character and irreproachable reputation, a registered voter of the city or municipality, has never been convicted of any election offense or of any other crime punishable by more than six months of imprisonment, or if he has pending against him an information for any election offense. He must be able to speak and write English or the local dialect.
Sec. 167. Disqualification. - No person shall serve as chairman or member of the board of election inspectors if he is related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any member of the board of election inspectors or to any candidate to be voted for in the polling place or his spouse.
Sec. 168. Powers of the board of election inspectors. - The board of election inspectors shall have the following powers and functions:
a. Conduct the voting and counting of votes in their respective polling places;
b. Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the election in the polling places wherein they are assigned, to assure the holding of the same in a free, orderly and honest manner; and
c. Perform such other functions prescribed by this Code or by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission.
Sec. 169. Voting privilege of members of board of election inspectors. - Members of the board of election inspectors and their substitutes may vote in the polling place where they are assigned on election day: Provided, That they are registered voters within the province, city or municipality where they are assigned: and Provided, finally, That their voting in the polling places where they are not registered voters be noted in the minutes of the board of election inspectors.
Sec. 170. Relief and substitution of members of the board of election inspectors. - Public school teachers who are members of the board of election inspectors shall not be relieved nor disqualified from acting as such members, except for cause and after due hearing.
Any member of the board of election inspectors, nominated by a political party, as well as his substitute may at any time be relieved from office and substituted with another having the legal qualifications upon petition of the authorized representative of the party upon whose nomination the appointment was made, and it shall be unlawful to prevent said person from, or disturb him in, the performance of the duties of the said office. A record of each case of substitution shall be made, setting forth therein the hour in which the replaced member has ceased in the office and the status of the work of the board of election inspectors. Said record shall be signed by each member of the board of election inspectors including the incoming and outgoing officers.
Sec. 171. Vacancy in the board of election inspectors. - Every vacancy in the board of election inspectors shall be filled for the remaining period in the manner hereinbefore prescribed.
Sec. 172. Proceedings of the board of election inspectors. - The meetings of the board of election inspectors shall be public and shall be held only in the polling place authorized by the Commission.
The board of election inspectors shall have full authority to maintain order within the polling place and its premises, to keep access thereto open and unobstructed, and to enforce obedience to its lawful orders. If any person shall refuse to obey lawful orders of the board of election inspectors, or shall conduct himself in a disorderly manner in its presence or within its hearing and thereby interrupt or disturb its proceedings, the board of election inspectors may issue an order in writing directing any peace officer to take such person into custody until the adjournment of the meeting, but such order shall not be executed as to prevent any person so taken into custody from exercising his right to vote. Such order shall be executed by any peace officer to whom it may be delivered, but if none be present, by any other person deputized by the board of election inspectors in writing.
Sec. 173. Prohibition of political activity. - No member of the board of election inspectors shall engage in any partisan political activity or take part in the election except to discharge his duties as such and to vote.
Sec. 174. Functioning of the board of election inspectors. - The board of election inspectors shall act through its chairman, and shall decide without delay by majority vote all questions which may arise in the performance of its duties.
Sec. 175. Temporary vacancies. - If, at the time of the meeting of the board of election inspectors, any member is absent, or the office is still vacant, the members present shall call upon the substitute or the absent members to perform the duties of the latter; and, in case such substitute cannot be found, the members present shall appoint any non-partisan registered voter of the polling place to temporarily fill said vacancy until the absent member appears or the vacancy is filled. In case there are two or more members present, they shall act jointly: Provided, That if the absent member is one who has been proposed by an accredited political party, the representative of said political party or in his absence the watchers belonging to said party shall designate a registered voter of the polling place to temporarily fill said vacancy: Provided, further, That in the event or refusal or failure of either representative or watchers of said political party to make the designation, the members of the board of election inspectors present shall choose a non-partisan registered voter of the polling place to fill the vacancy.
Sec. 176. Temporary designation of members of the board of election inspectors by watchers. - If at the time the board of election inspectors must meet, all the positions in the board of election inspectors are vacant, or if not one of the appointed members shall appear, the watchers present may designate voters of the polling place to act in the place of said members until the absentees shall appear or the vacancies are filled.
Sec. 177. Arrest of absent members. - The member or members of the board of election inspectors present may order the arrest of any other member or substitute thereof, who in their judgment, has absented himself with intention of obstructing the performance of duties of the board of election inspectors.
OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE
PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES
Sec. 149. Precincts and their establishment. - The unit of territory for the purpose of voting is the election precinct, and every barangay as of the approval of this Act shall have at least one such precinct.
The Commission shall establish all election precincts.
The precincts actually established in the preceding regular election shall be maintained, but the Commission may introduce such adjustments, changes or new divisions or abolish them, if necessary: Provided, however, That the territory comprising an election precinct shall not be altered or a new precinct established within forty-five days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election or a referendum or plebiscite.
Sec. 150. Arrangements of election precincts. –
1. Each election precinct shall have, as far as possible not more than three hundred voters and shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous and compact territory.
2. When it appears that an election precinct contains more than three hundred voters, the Commission shall, in the interest of orderly election, and in order to facilitate the casting of votes, be authorized to divide a precinct not later than one week after the last day of registration of voters. But the polling place of all the precincts created thereby shall be located in the same building or compound where the polling place of the original precinct is located, and if this be not feasible, in a place as close as possible to the polling place of the original precinct: Provided, however, That the polling place of the new precinct may be located elsewhere upon written petition of the majority of the voters of the new precinct: Provided, further, That when a precinct is divided into two or more precincts, the registered voters shall be included in the precinct wherein they reside. Every case of alteration of a precinct shall be duly published by posting a notice of any change in conspicuous location in the precinct, and in the municipal building or city hall, as the case may be.
3. A municipality which has been merged with another municipality shall constitute at least one election precinct, if the distance between the remotest barangay of the merged municipality and the nearest polling place in the municipality to which it has been merged shall, by the shortest road, exceed five kilometers.
4. An island or group of islands having one hundred and fifty or more voters shall constitute a precinct.
5. Any alteration of the election precincts or the establishment of new ones shall be communicated to the provincial election supervisor, the provincial superintendent of schools, etc. together with the corresponding maps, which shall be published as prescribed in the next succeeding sections.
Sec. 151. Publication of maps or precincts. - At least five days before the first registration day preceding a regular election or special election or a referendum or a plebiscite, the Commission shall, through its duly authorized representative, post in the city hall or municipal building and in three other conspicuous places in the city or municipality and on the door of each polling place, a map of the city or municipality showing its division into precincts with their respective boundaries and indicating therein all streets and alleys in populous areas and the location of each polling place.
These maps shall be kept posted until after the election, referendum or plebiscite.
Sec. 152. Polling place. - A polling place is the building or place where the board of election inspectors conducts its proceedings and where the voters shall cast their votes.
Sec. 153. Designation of polling places. - The location of polling places designated in the preceding regular election shall continue with such changes as the Commission may find necessary, after notice to registered political parties and candidates in the political unit affected, if any, and hearing: Provided, That no location shall be changed within forty-five days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election or a referendum or plebiscite, except in case it is destroyed or it cannot be used.
Sec. 154. Requirements for polling places. - Each polling place shall be, as far as practicable, a ground floor and shall be of sufficient size to admit and comfortably accommodate forty voters at one time outside the guard rail for the board of election inspectors. The polling place shall be located within the territory of the precinct as centrally as possible with respect to the residence of the voters therein and whenever possible, such location shall be along a public road. No designation of polling places shall be changed except upon written petition of the majority of the voters of the precinct or agreement of all the political parties or by resolution of the Commission upon prior notice and hearing.
A public building having the requirements prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be preferred as polling place.
Sec. 155. Building that shall not be used as polling places. - No polling place shall be located in a public or private building owned, leased, or occupied by any candidate or of any person who is related to any candidate within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, or any officer of the government or leader of any political party, group or faction, nor in any building or surrounding premises under the actual control of a private entity, political party or religious organization. In places where no suitable public building is available, private school buildings may be used as polling places. No polling place shall be located within the perimeter of or inside a military or police camp or reservation or within a prison compound.
Any registered voter, candidate or political party may petition the Commission not later than thirty days before the first registration day for the transfer of the polling place from the prohibited buildings provided herein. Such petition shall be heard and decided by the Commission within twenty days from the filing of the petition. Failure to effect the transfer of the polling place after the Commission found it to be located in violation of this section within the period prescribed herein shall be a ground for the postponement of the election in the polling place concerned.
Sec. 156. Signs and flags of polling places. - On the day of the voting as well as on any day that the board of election inspectors might meet, every polling place shall have in front a sign showing the number of the precinct to which it belongs and the Philippine flag shall be hoisted at the proper height.
Sec. 157. Arrangement and contents of polling places. - Each polling place shall conform as much as possible to the sketch on the following page.
Sec. 158. Voting booth. - During the voting, there shall be in each polling place a booth for every twenty voters registered in the precinct. Each booth shall be open on the side fronting the table for the board of election inspectors and its three sides shall be closed with walls at least seventy centimeters wide and two meters high. The upper part shall be covered, if necessary, to preserve the secrecy of the ballot. Each booth shall have in the background a shelf so placed that voters can write therein while standing and shall be kept clearly lighted, by artificial lights, if necessary, during the voting.
The Commission shall post inside each voting booth and elsewhere in the polling place on the day before the election, referendum and plebiscite a list containing the names of all the candidates or the issues or questions to be voted for, and shall at all times during the voting period keep such list posted in said places.
Sec. 159. Guard rails. –
a. In every polling place there shall be a guard rail between the voting booths and the table for the board of election inspectors which shall have separate entrance and exit. The booths shall be so arranged that they can be accessible only by passing through the guard rail and by entering through its open side facing the table of the board of election inspectors.
b. There shall also be a guard rail for the watchers between the place reserved for them and the table for the board of election inspectors and at a distance of not more than fifty centimeters from the latter so that the watchers may see and read clearly during the counting of the contents of the ballots and see and count the votes recorded by the board of election inspectors member on the corresponding tally sheets.
c. There shall also be, if possible, guard rails separating the table of the board of election inspectors from the voters waiting for their turn to cast their votes, with entrance and exit to give them orderly access to the table and the booths during the voting.
d. The polling place shall be so arranged that the booths, the table, the ballot boxes and the whole polling place, except what is being written within the booths, shall be in plain view of the board of election inspectors, the watchers and other persons who may be within the polling place.
Sec. 160. Ballot boxes. –
1. There shall be in each polling place on the day of the voting a ballot box one side of which shall be transparent which shall be set in a manner visible to the voting public containing two compartments, namely, the compartment for valid ballots which is indicated by an interior cover painted white and the compartment for spoiled ballots which is indicated by an interior cover painted red. The boxes shall be uniform throughout the Philippines and shall be solidly constructed and shall be closed with three different locks as well as three numbered security locks and such other safety devices as the Commission may prescribe in such a way that they can not be opened except by means of three distinct keys and by destroying such safety devices.
2. In case of the destruction or disappearance of any ballot box on election day, the board of election inspectors shall immediately report it to the city or municipal treasurer who shall furnish another box or receptacle as equally adequate as possible. The election registrar shall report the incident and the delivery of a new ballot box by the fastest means of communication on the same day to the Commission and to the provincial election supervisor.
Sec. 161. Tally boards. - At the beginning of the counting, there shall be placed within the plain view of the board of election inspectors, watchers and the public, a tally board where the names of all the registered candidates or the issues or questions to be voted upon shall be written, and the poll clerk shall record thereon the votes received by each of them as the chairman of the board of election inspectors reads the ballot.
Sec. 162. Furnishing of ballot boxes, forms, stationeries and materials for election. - The Commission shall prepare and furnish the ballot boxes, forms, stationeries and materials necessary for the registration of voters and the holding of the election.
The provincial, city and municipal treasurer shall have custody of such election paraphernalia, supplies and materials as are entrusted to him under the law or rules of the Commission and shall be responsible for their preservation and storage, and for any loss, destruction, impairment or damage of any election equipment, material or document in their possession furnished under this Code.
Sec. 163. Inspection of polling places. - Before the day of the election, referendum or plebiscite, the Chairman of the Commission shall, through its authorized representatives, see to it that all polling places are inspected and such omissions and defects as may be found corrected. The Commission shall keep the reports on these inspections.