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Comelec eyes one-week transition for BSKE 2023 winners

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is calling for a one-week transition period before the proclaimed winners of the 2023 barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections (BSKE) assume office.

Comelec chairman George Garcia said this was the Comelec's position in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision which found the postponment of the BSKE to October 30, 2023 unconstitutional.

"The Supreme Court said the start of term of office of those who will win the 2023 BKSE should start January 1, 2023, nakalipas na iyon," Garcia said.

(That date has long passed.)

"That means if they win and get proclaimed tonight, they should assume office tomorrow,” he added.

Garcia said he had asked Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos if the Department of the Interior and Local Government could study having a transition period.

"Kung bukas uupo, baka magkagulo po tayo kasi kinakailangang may proper transfer rin po ng kagamitan, pondo at mga dokumento. Siguro po kahit one week, acceptable po ‘yun,” Garcia said.

(There could be confusion if the winners proclaimed tonight would assume office tomorrow. We need ample time for proper turnover of equipment, funds and other documents.)

Garcia earlier said that the conduct of 2023 BSKE was generally peaceful even if cases of election-related violence left three dead and injured eight individuals in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

These BARMM cases were on top of other voting disruption incidents which include: tearing of ballots in Palawan, a physical confrontation in Lanao del Norte, teachers suddenly backing out of their voluntary poll duty in the Bangsamoro Region and in Abra, among others.

“There was only a small percentage where disruption occurred. To us, it is a victory of sorts,” Garcia said.

“When you say generally peaceful, when you say incidents, we have to factor in the number of voters involved. We have 92 million registered voters. Of this number, how many are affected? We have 202,000 precincts. Even if there were disruptions in 2,000 precincts, we would still have 200,000 precincts where voting proceeded as expected,” he added. —NB, GMA Integrated News