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Civil servants told: Avoid partisan acts

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday issued a stern warning to its officials and personnel to stand by the agency’s mandate of “political neutrality” throughout the 150-day election period for the 2019 midterm polls.

At a press conference, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the ban on partisan activity for DepEd employees was covered under the Constitution and Civil Service Commission (CSC) rules, and would be equally enforced against “whatever party, whatever political orientation.”

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“An official has access to people, resources and most important, the power to influence,” Briones said. “This is why it has to be closely regulated.”

Article 9 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “no officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.”

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List of partisan activities

DepEd Order No. 48, issued in 2018, enumerated an extensive list of activities that would be considered partisan and political.

These include: making speeches, announcements or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate or party; wearing T-shirts, pins or any similar paraphernalia bearing the names of candidates or parties; and forming organizations, clubs or committees for the purpose of soliciting votes or campaigning.

At the same time, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) appealed to the CSC to remind all government officials and personnel on the prohibition to engage in partisan political activities ahead of the May 13 midterm polls.

“A reminder to civil servants from @PHCivilService would be welcome right about now,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on his Twitter account @jabjimenez.

Jimenez made the call on Tuesday following a viral social media post showing that an unidentified government agency was being required to put up posters of former presidential aide and now senatorial aspirant Christopher “Bong” Go.

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TAGS: 2019 elections, civil servants, Comelec, Commission on Eloections, DepEd, Leonor Briones, partisan activities, partisanship
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