Comelec braces for ‘troublesome’ local candidates
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is bracing up for the start of the campaign period for local candidates on Black Saturday.
“Let us be vigilant once the local campaign period starts. There we will see more troublesome candidates,” Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes advised the public.
The 45-day campaign period for local candidates actually starts on Good Friday but the poll body prohibits campaign activities on that day.
Expected to begin campaigning Saturday are those who will be vying for the 233 House of Representatives seats; 80 governors; 80 vice governors; 766 provincial board members; 143 city mayors; 143 city vice mayors; 1,598 city councilors; 1,491 municipal mayors; 1,491 municipal vice mayors; and 11,932 municipal councilors.
Also set to begin their campaign are Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) candidates for governor; vice governor; and 24 regional assemblymen. Comelec spokesman
James Jimenez also reminded local bets that government-owned vehicles should be spared from campaigning since those are considered as public structures.
“It is prohibited to involve government vehicles used by barangays (villages) or local government units for campaigning.
This is particularly relevant in the local arena since many incumbents are running again. So they better make sure that their names are not on government vehicles,” said Jimenez.
Section 7 of the Resolution 9615 states that “public places” include motor vehicles used as patrol cars, ambulances and other similar purposes owned by local government units, and government agencies that bear red license plates.
Violations of the resolution, which provides the rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act, is considered an election offense, which carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from public office.
Local candidates are likewise urged to remove any material that can be linked to their campaign before March 29, the official start of the campaign period for them.
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