PNP to poll bets: Remember health protocols

February 13, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 355 views

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Dionardo B. Carlos yesterday reminded anew national candidates in the May 9 polls to strictly comply with the guidelines set by the Commission on Elections and the campaign caravan rules released by the Metro Manila Development Authority in major thoroughfares in the metropolis to help stop the further spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent major traffic jams during busy weekdays.

“We also agree these caravans should only be allowed on weekends and holidays, according to the guidelines of the MMDA. This will be practical since a lesser volume of vehicles are out on the streets,” the top cop said.

The PNP chief said the scheduling arrangement will be convenient for the motorists and commuters who are rushing to and from their destinations on weekdays.

“I hope that the candidates and their supporters will understand that they should not be the cause of delay for the general public. May we also remind them to get the necessary permit from the LGU concerned whenever they want to conduct a motorcade or caravan,” Gen. Carlos said.

According to the PNP chief, they will assist in whatever possible way to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in Metro Manila and other parts of the country once there is a campaign caravan for the benefit of the public.

At the same time, he reiterated the provisions of Comelec Resolution No. 10732 which set the rules in conducting physical campaigns, rallies, meetings and other related activities.

Foremost of these rules are the need for the candidates, their campaign organizers and their supporters to strictly observe minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health to help curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“I’m sure that all candidates are well aware of the Comelec resolution on campaigning. We will not look at any political color here, but our role is to enforce the health protocol. Whoever shall violate, will have to face the consequences,” Carlos said.

The prohibited acts under the in-person activities include: entering private dwellings for house-to-house campaigning even with owner’s permission; crowding; handshaking or other forms of physical contact; taking selfies or photographs that require close proximity among people; and distribution of food and drinks.

Each outdoor campaign activity must also have a duly approved Conduct of Election Campaign permit, which shall be filed at least 72 hours before the actual campaign.

All local Comelec office have their respective campaign committees that can accept the applications.

For an in-person campaign, the application must be attached with proof of identity of the companions.

Motorcades, caravans, rallies and ‘miting de avance’ must also secure a permit from the local government unit concerned.

Proof of reservation of the DOT-accredited venue must be attached along with the main form for meetings and the likes, the poll body said.

“Please comply with these requirements so our PNP personnel can better monitor election-related activities. Our goal is to ensure the safety of everyone participating,” Gen. Carlos said.

The PNP chief likewise reiterated the PNP’s apolitical stand and said that all members of the police force are prohibited from campaigning for any candidate or from influencing the public to favor one candidate over the other. With Joel dela Torre