May 19, 2024

As voters in the Cordillera are expected to troop to the various polling centers on Monday, May 9, the Commission on Elections is reminding the public about some prohibitions during the elections.

In Resolution 10727 or the general guidelines in the 2022 automated elections, the Comelec said there are people whose entry into polling centers is restricted.

Personalities whose presence in polling centers is restricted are any officer or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; any peace officer or any armed person belonging to any extralegal police agency, special forces, reaction forces, strike forces, Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit members, barangay tanod or other paramilitary forces, special forces, security guards, and special policemen, all other kinds of unarmed extralegal police forces, and any barangay or Sangguniang Kabataan official whether elected or appointed.

The Comelec said they may only enter the polling place to vote. Otherwise, they should not be within a 50-meter radius from the polling place.

The Comelec qualified that if the Electoral Board (EB) finds it necessary that election paraphernalia need to be secured, it may, by a majority vote, ask policemen to stay outside the polling place within a 30-meter radius near enough to be easily called by the EB but never at the door.

Responding policemen or security forces are also barred from conversing with any voter or obstruct the free access of voters to the polling place.

The Comelec also reminded that polling centers will open at 6 a.m. and will accommodate voters until 7 p.m.

In adherence to Covid-19 protocols, social distancing will be implemented inside polling centers.

To facilitate voting for those with special needs, areas for heavily pregnant women, senior citizens, and the differently-abled have also been provided. – Rimaliza A. Opiña