Comelec bars 'fiesta-like parades' after COC filing-A A +A
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
MANILA -- At least for the barangay elections, "fiesta-like parades" escorting candidates in filing their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) to run in the October 28 elections will be gone.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) intended to file premature campaigning charges against those that will be filing their COCs while being accompanied by banners and streamers promoting their candidacies.
“Hindi na kayo pwedeng kumampanya pa when you file your COCs until October 18, which is the start of the campaign period. Otherwise, we will charge you of premature campaigning because this is a manual election,” said Brillantes.
“Bago mag-October 18, bawal lahat, pati mga parade, kung nakapag-file ka na ng COC mo,” he stressed.
He said such actions are prohibited since they have decided to ditch the definitions of “candidates” and “campaigning” under the Election Automation Law and instead use the one in the Omnibus Election Code since the barangay polls are using the manual system of voting.
“Ang aming interpretation, based on our Law Department’s opinion, is that the rule on Republic Act 9369 na walang premature campaigning before the start of the campaign period will not apply in this case. So Ite-testing namin ito,” said Brillantes.
Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code states that: “It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period."
But, under the poll automation law, “Any person who files his certificate of candidacy (COC) shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period."
Violation of election laws could result to disqualification from running for the public post and possible election offense cases, which carries one to six years imprisonment as penalty.
Meanwhile, the Comelec is encouraging aspirants for the barangay elections to file their COCs as early as possible.
According to Commissioner Christian Lim, the filing of COCs is only for six days and that filing early will ensure that their names will be in the list of candidates.
“Kung lahat ay magfa-file on the last day, baka hindi matanggap na 'yung COC ninyo. Like in Zamboanga City, which has 98 barangays. So imaginin mo kung ilan yung magfa-file. Baka hindi kayanin,” said Lim.
The poll body had suspended the barangay elections in Zamboanga on October 7 due to the destruction caused by the stand-off in September.
Based on Comelec Resolution 9740, the filing of COCs shall be done in the Offices of City/Municipal Election Officers during regular office hours r from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The period for filing COCs is set to begin on Friday and will run until October 17, except on Sunday, October 13. (HDT/Sunnex)