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Home ยป ๐๐’๐Š๐„ โ€™๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘: ๐€ ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž

๐๐’๐Š๐„ โ€™๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘: ๐€ ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž

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It was a clarion call, and the sounding is most timely for the crucial day of picking leaders for tomorrow. The country is gearing up for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30; such elections were last conducted in 2018. Voters will choose new leaders for 42,046 barangays in 82 provinces around the country.

The BSKE is a key component of the Philippine local government system. A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the country, which plays a vital role in local governance, and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is a council founded to represent the interests of young people in their communities, ensuring that their voices are heard in the decision-making processes.

During this time, Filipinos aged 18 and up exercise their right to vote for community leaders. The Barangay Council’s functions include implementing policies and programs in the barangay, passing ordinances and resolutions for effective administration, encouraging participation among barangay constituents, resolving conflicts or disputes among constituents, and performing other duties as provided in the Philippine Local Government Code.

As we approach the upcoming election, preparation is the key to success. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to failโ€, as the famous Benjamin Franklin once said. Some have political backgrounds and astonishing records worth bragging about, while others have pure dedication to serve despite lacking the competencies to run.

Nevertheless, it should be double-packaged; it is not just the best fit but also has the heart and passion to serve the public. The crucial positions embody the hopes and dreams of the local populace. Simultaneously held with the barangay elections, the SK elections offer young Filipinos a unique opportunity to shape their local communities and contribute to the nationโ€™s development.

All have the desire to take the post, yet few have the genuine heart to truly serve. Some are players in the โ€˜dirty politicsโ€™ system, characterized by gaining power and influence through violence. The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported 22 election-related incidents from August 28 to October 25.

To name a few, Arnel Adolfo Flormata, a candidate for barangay captain in Barangay Bayaoas, Aguilar, Pangasinan, was killed following a campaign sortie on October 22. And Maria Magnolia Repascol Gelido, the incumbent Barangay Bayaoas chairwoman running for reelection, is the accused mastermind behind the murder. With that, Lingayen, Pangasinan Gov. Ramon V. Guico III encourage the residents to keep the elections secure, peaceful, and orderly. He says, “Let us avoid criminality and violence. It is not worth it, and it is not right.”

Aside from this, red-tagging has also been reported to be present among aspirant officials. Kabataan Partylist (KPL) Cebu Chapter chairperson John Kyle Enero, an SK candidate, was red-tagged through posters, claiming he is a communist, and KPL was a supporter of the CPP-NPA, spotted in Barangay Sambag 1 in Cebu City on Friday, October 27. These are not merely issues to put aside, but rather alarming ones, not just for the candidates but also for the people of the community.

However, according to the COMELEC, as per their new policy contained in Memorandum No. 231111, even if they win, barangay and SK election candidates who are facing unresolved petitions against their candidacies would be unable to take office, for their cases must be settled first. In that case, there is still an assurance that such dirty politics cannot be tolerated. And justice must prevail for those who have been muted unfairly.

With these threats, we, responsible voters, must exercise the right of suffrage on the 30th, backed with knowledge and integrity, to put the best, or rather the right one, in office for the next three years. We only have a day to chart our tomorrowโ€™s path. A day we have been all preparing to replace leaders who failed their promises to put things in order and advance the lives of their people and put new ones together with a hope to fulfill theirs. Every vote counts and the power to make a difference lies in our hands.

Editorial Cartoon by Severino Ariola Jr.

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