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Benitez against brgy captains as COMELEC campaign monitors

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Commission on Elections should look for other independent monitors, instead of deputizing barangay captains to monitor and report election campaign activities, said Bacolod City mayoralty aspirant Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.

Benitez yesterday said that barangay captains already have their own biases in the May 9 elections.

“To use barangay officials in the enforcement of the COMELEC guidelines, I’m not sure about it as they have their own political biases being in elected positions,” he stressed.

“Can we not utilize other government officials? Does it have to be them?” Benitez asked.

He said that barangay officials have functions in their jurisdictions and in this time of a pandemic situation “they have lot of work to do.”

Provincial Comelec supervisor Roberto Salazar earlier said that Comelec has deputized barangay officials to help in the monitoring and reporting the conduct of all election activities in their respective villages, to ensure that it complies with the minimum health standards and protocols.

Salazar said that barangay officials are liable to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) if their reports are tainted with bias.

We can also conduct random inspection of the election activities to ensure that candidates comply with the rules especially the health protocols, he added.

However, Benitez said that guidelines may change as the election approaches.*

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