Comelec to candidates: Ensure safety of supporters, staff during physical campaigning

February 20, 2022 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 84 views

THE Commission on Elections reminded the candidates that the physical campaign guidelines relative to the 2022 National and Local Elections are in full force and effect.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez issued the reminder after getting reports that minimum public health standards have not been complied with in several sorties since the campaign period started.

“It has been brought to our attention that several campaign sorties conducted since the campaign period started have not been compliant with the mandatory face mask and face shield policy, as well as the strict physical distancing requirements. In case the candidates need reminding, they are responsible for the safety of their staff and supporters and that the guidelines on physical campaigning are strictly followed—that is their lookout,” he said.

Jimenez pointed out that election campaign activities that involve physical or personal interaction, such as in-person campaigns, rallies, caucuses, meetings and conventions, motorcades and caravans, and mitings de avance are covered by Resolution No. 10732.

He added that all persons participating in such activities in any capacity are required to wear full-coverage face shields, together with face masks, whether ear loop masks, indigenous reusable masks, do-it-yourself masks, or other facial protective equipment. Additionally, the minimum public health standards must be observed at all times.

“Having said that, the COMELEC reiterates that violations of the physical campaign guidelines are being strictly monitored by the respective campaign committees in every locality, under the guidance of the National COMELEC Campaign Committee headed by Commissioner Rey Bulay, and with the cooperation of the Department of Health,” the Comelec official added.

Violations of the guidelines are classified either as an election offense, or as a violation of the MPHS. An election offense is punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years without probation, while a violation of MPHS will be penalized with a fine of not less than ?20,000.00 but not more than ?50,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.