Public urged to report violators of campaign ban
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged the public to report candidates who would defy the campaign ban on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Director James Jimenez of the Comelec Education and Information Department told reporters Monday the poll body can still receive complaints via social media throughout the Holy Week.
“We expect that the public, who will be vacationing or who will be observing the season in their own ways, will still have their mobile phones and hopefully they can still report if they see any violations,” Jimenez said.
The public can report to Comelec via Twitter using #SumbongKo or @Comelec or they can go to the Comelec website at http://mycomelec.tv/ to report violators.
He said they are looking at several possible gimmicks that candidates will resort to campaign such as “roadside assistance projects, leafleting [and] flyering in places like churches where the faithful will be expected to congregate over the next few days.”
Comelec is particularly looking at the possible posting of election propaganda “along roadways, especially highways going towards usual vacation places of voters.”
Jimenez also warned local candidates against campaigning on March 29, Good Friday, although it is the start of the local campaign period.
“We ask the candidates to please refrain from using the observance [of Holy Week] as a means of campaigning,” Jimenez said. “Please show a little restraint.”
“[We also] give the candidates fair warning that [after March 29 the] public will be able to report their violations of campaign rules and we will act on them this time,” he said referring to the previous rule that candidates cannot yet be charged with premature campaigning before the local campaign period starts.
“If they were Epal (credit-grabbing politicians) before, they can become violators [once local campaign starts],” Jimenez said.
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