DILG reminds local execs to grant permits for rivals’ campaign rallies
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday reminded incumbent local officials to play fair in issuing permits to political rivals by allowing them to hold campaign rallies in their areas.
“Play a fair game. Let us not deprive voters the chance to get to know their candidates to help them decide who to vote for,” Año said in a statement after President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly said that some local officials refuse to grant permits for political rallies to their opponents.
“Kung gusto kayo ng tao, iboboto nila kayo ulit (If the people want you, they will vote for you again). So let’s not resort to shenanigans and just present your platform to the people and allow them to make intelligent choices,” he said.
Año said Section 87 or the Omnibus Election Code states that any political party may hold peaceful political rallies, meetings, and other similar activities during the campaign period.
“The right of candidates to hold political rallies was also reiterated in a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution which provides that they should be given equal and fair opportunity as to date, time and place to hold public political rallies,” he said.
He added that as public officers, all local officials have the “duty to uphold free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections.”
“Hence, compliance with existing election laws shall take precedence over personal interests,” said Año. /ee
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