By lovely a. carillo
The City Council’s committee on ethics and good governance has suspended its investigation of erring barangay officials as it is already covered by the 90-day prohibition due to the barangay and SK elections this October.
“Items No. 627, 634 and 636 are suspended due to the 90-day investigation ban as provided for in Section 62 (c) of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code,” committee chair Melchor Quitain Jr. said in an official notice.
The items are administrative complaints against two different punong barangays and one barangay kagawad.
Section 62 (c) of RA 7160 on notice of hearing provides that “no investigation shall be held within 90 days imme-diately prior to any local election and no preventive suspension shall be imposed within said period. If preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the 90-day period immediately preceding local election, it shall be deemed automatically lifted upon start of said period.”
Quitain’s notice was issued despite reports that the barangay elections will be postponed to May 2018 per consensus in the House of Representatives. The election was originally scheduled on October 31, 2016.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already started printing official ballots for the Barangay/SK elections on August 9.
Aside from the prohibition on the suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer, Comelec also prohibited the following acts during the election period: Carrying of firearms or other deadly weapons, use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates, Organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces, or similar forces and Transferring or detailing officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers.