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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Premature campaigners warned

Need to shun avoid early campaigners underscored

MANILA – With the filing of certificates of candidacy for the coming 2022 national and local elections scheduled from October 1-8 this year, potential candidates have begun to make their presence felt in the mainstream and social media.

This was the observation of the panelists during the latest Tapatan sa Aristocrat last Monday, June 28.

COMELEC Spokesperson and Director for Information and Education Department James Jimenez said voters should not support politicians into premature campaigning.

It will be recalled the Commission on Elections’ calendar for the coming national and local elections include the filing of certificates of candidacy from October 1-8, 2021 but a number of candidates have used the mainstream and social media platforms to introduce themselves and their advocacies.

Because they have not filed their certificates of candidacies, they cannot be classified as official candidates and cannot be charged for premature campaigning.

“Don’t vote for them and don’t reward their bad behavior,” he said. He added there isn’t any shortage for law-abiding and good candidates for various positions as there are candidates who follow simple rules.

NAMFREL’s Secretary-General Eric Alvia said Director Jimenez’s call should be supported by everyone.

He said if simple rules are violated, one can imagine what they would do once they get elected.

“We will see a glimpse of their brand of leadership or kind of integrity these people have,” he added. He said the Commission on Elections should introduce reforms that need to be done but bewailed the fact the majority at the Legislature will not act on these because they and their families benefit from the lopsided set-up.

UP Professor Clarita Carlos said people’s participation is important in political exercises as the country’s future depends on the kind of people being elected to lead the country. She added rules and regulations have been made to prevent irregularities and that laws need to be strictly implemented.

However, she said the Comelec should consider introducing changes in the manner of electing candidates by making it easier for senior citizens to vote from elsewhere other than crowded polling places.

LENTE’s Project Director Brizza Rosales said the most recent plebiscite in Palawan showed the people’s interest in the political exercise. It was observed a significant number of local residents trooped to their polling place despite the intermittent rains.

Speaking of premature campaigning, Ms. Rosales said such “will always impact on transparency and governance.”

San Sebastian Graduate School of Law Dean Rodel Taton said it is important to get more people to register and vote in the coming national and local elections. He called on the young to register and take part in the coming political exercise. (Melo M. Acuna)

NAMFREL's Secretary General Eric Alvia, UP Professor Clarita Carlos, COMELEC's Spokesperson Director James Jimenez, San Sebastian Graduate School of Law Dean Rodel A. Taton and LENTE's Project Manager Brizza Rosales. (Screenshot/Melo M. Acuna)

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