DepEd says no campaigning at graduation rites

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Education Secretary Armin Luistro: No campaigning please. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it could not stop candidates from giving speeches at graduation ceremonies but that they should turn down these invitations as a matter of “delicadeza.”

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said in a press briefing that the poll body could not prosecute candidates who would use commencement exercises to promote their candidacies in the May elections but that the schools that invited them despite a circular from the Department of Education (DepEd) would be held liable.

“As far as the Comelec is concerned, it’s OK for politicians to speak during graduation ceremonies but I think it will be the school administrators who will be held liable by the DepEd… I just don’t know what penalty will be imposed,” Brillantes said.

“I don’t think giving speeches during graduation rites will help them get votes… some people might even get turned off by these candidates,” he said.

Last month, Education Secretary Armin Luistro issued a memorandum reminding all schools that commencement exercises “shall not be used as a political forum” by candidates running in the midterm balloting.

Brillantes said the Comelec would also be vigilant against the putting up of election posters in school premises, graduation venues and the roads leading to them.

“Graduation areas are not part of the common poster areas, that is for certain,” said Brillantes.

Under Comelec Resolution No. 9615, lawful election paraphernalia are only allowed in authorized common poster areas in public places.

For its part, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) on Monday called on all Catholic schools in the country not to allow candidates to use graduation rites as a venue for campaigning.

Over Radio Veritas, CEAP president Fr. Greg Banaga said school administrators and even alumni must refrain from inviting politicians to give speeches at graduations.—Jocelyn R. Uy

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  • http://www.facebook.com/renester.suralta Renester Suralta

    Over the years in Cebu City politicians incumbent or not gave speeches during graduation day, despite Deped standing order. No sanction was ever given to any school administrators for the violation. Ironically, Deped Oder is commonly observed in private schools only but in the public schools where school heads are under the mercy of the local executives e.g. councilors, mayors, congressman it is good as nothing. Who could say NO to the City Mayor or Congressman or representative when they arrived at the middle of the program to give a political message to the graduates under the semblance of inspirational message?

  • UrHONOR

    >>>DepEd says no campaigning at graduation rites<<<

    MAYBE in public schools….but in catholic private schools, the instruction has to come from the VATICAN.

  • mad_as_Hamlet

    DepEd should be proactive.  It should advise school authorities that they are at liberty to encourage their students to pull out their cell phones and tablets, and to text, blog, tweet, or surf whenever a candidate speaks at commencement and graduation rites.

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