THE Commission on Elections yesterday called on the candidates for the 2022 elections not to politicize the help given to areas affected by Tropical Depression Agaton.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia explained that since natural disasters are inevitable, the local government units may use their respective calamity funds as long as they inform the local Comelec offices.
Garcia then asked the incumbent candidates and other politicians to refrain from putting their campaign materials in the relief goods provided to the residents hit by Agaton as it may be a ground for disqualification.
“Kung pupwede po, ‘wag na lang lalagyan ng mukha ng kandidato o mukha ni mayor. ‘Wag na lang ganun. Kung tulong, tulong po nating ibigay tutal naman po ay galing sa kaban ng bayan ‘yan, hindi sa bulsa ng pulitiko. ‘Wag na po nating gawing pamumulitika ito. Kung ganun, ako mismo ang magpapa-disqualify sa kanila (if that happens, I’ll be the one to personally seek their disqualification),” he said.
The poll body is currently implementing a public spending ban from March 25 to May 8, 2022 in light of the election period.
Under Comelec’s Resolution No. 10747, a certificate of exemption is needed to implement activities and programs on social welfare projects and services amid this ban.
Due to this, Garcia said that aside from notifying local poll offices for calamity fund usage, LGUs should also specify the names and number of beneficiaries given aid, as well as which areas or barangays were they from.
Garcia said Monday that the Comelec is willing to speed up the exemption of LGUs affected by Agaton from the campaign period spending ban.
He said the Comelec can even forgo hearing on the case based on the evidence available due to the storm.
Comelec has also established an inter-agency task force investigating reports of vote-buying led by Commissioner Aimee Ferolino.
The camp of trailing bet Leni Robredo has been posting photos over the weekend of vehicles bearing Robredo campaign posters carrying people clad in red allegedly in Tacloban on Saturday night, aimed at disparaging front-runner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr.
One caption read: “Look kami pa ang sumaklolo sa mga supporters ni Blengblong na na-stranded sa baha. Di sila makauwi after ng rally nya.”