Press Release
May 31, 2021

Drilon tells barangays: Shun politics

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon warned barangays against engaging in partisan politics.

"Let us maintain the non-partisan nature of the barangays. Barangays must shun politics at all costs," Drilon said.

Drilon issued the statement on Monday after a supposed letter of a barangay chairman in a village in Bulacan circulated in social media, which was supposedly asking the residents of Barangay Pagala in Baliwag, Bulacan whether they will support the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Drilon cited a prohibition under the Omnibus Election Code and Section 93 of the Local Government Code against engaging in partisan political activities.

Drilon said that following the Commission on Election and Civil Service Commission Joint Circular 001-2016, only the President, Vice President, Members of the Cabinet, other elective officials except barangay officials, members of the AFP reserve corps are excluded from the coverage of the prohibition against engaging in electioneering of engaging in partisan political activities.

"They cannot campaign or endorse the candidacy of any person. More so, they cannot use the resources of the barangays for political activities. That is a violation of the law," he added.

He added that barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials are non-partisan by nature and practice. In fact, during the 2019 elections, the Department of Interior and Local Government asked the COMLEC to look into partisan activities of barangay and SK officials, saying they have committed election offenses. In a one-page letter, DILG Usec. Epimaco Densing endorsed complaints against 52 barangay and SK officials who were engaged in electioneering. The DILG has publicly said that barangay officials engaging in partisan political activities are violating the Omnibus Election Code.

Drilon also appealed to politicians to stop using the barangays to score "pogi points" in the administration or further their political agenda.

"Huwag na po nating gamitin ang barangays sa pulitika. Huwag nating bigyan ng kulay ang barangay. Let them remain apolitical," he said.

Drilon urged the DILG to look into the incident in Barangay Pagala in Baliwag Bulacan and ensure that the barangays and its resources are not used for political activities.

During the budget deliberation last year, Drilon expressed warning that there are items in the national budget that could be used "in aid of 2022 elections" such as the P19 billion anti-insurgency fund wherein P16.4 billion is distributed to more than 800 barangays in the country in a pre-election year.

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