Comelec distributes manual containing election guidelines to the police-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the PNP yesterday started distributing a manual that will serve as a guide for the police during the election period.
Cebu Provincial Comelec Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said he sent the PNP’s Comelec Quick Guide to elections officers in the province via e-mail.
The election officers will be the one to give the manual to the police in their areas.
Meanwhile, Castillano expressed hope that the issue affecting the Capitol will be resolved soon so that the police deployed there can be used to ensure a peaceful and orderly elections in May.
Members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion have been guarding the Capitol since Dec. 19, when Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia opted to stay in her office in defiance of a Malacañang suspension order.
Castillano admitted, though, that the police troops are needed at the Capitol to address any threat.
He cited the May 2007 shooting of Sta. Fe mayor and reelectionist Roger Illustrisimo at the Capitol.
“Kami sa Comelec, we are thankful nga daghan ang police kay we should prevent bloodshed (The Comelec is thankful for the police presence to prevent bloodshed),” he said. “Pero we hope na by the time moabot na ang election, mawala na ning situation para kining mga na-assign diri na police magamit nato sa sa uban nga areas (But we hope that during the election, the tension at the Capitol is resolved so we can deploy the policemen to other areas).”
Among other things, the Comelec Quick Guide contains a list of election-related dates and prohibited acts.
The election period is from Jan. 13 to June 12.
During the period, carrying firearms; transfer of government officers and employees; use of security personnel or bodyguards of the candidates with no authorization from the Comelec; and organization of reaction, strike or other similar forces are prohibited.
From Feb. 12 to May 13, election candidates are not allowed to give donations or cash gifts, and appoint or use special policemen and confidential agents.
The quick guide also lists:
• The campaign period for the candidates for senators and party-list groups will be from Feb. 12 to May, 11;
• The campaign period for congressional, gubernatorial and other elective local
government positions will be from March 29 to May 11;
• Proper conduct of the gun ban, Comelec check points and liquor ban;
The manual also reminds the police that those who commit the prohibited acts will face imprisonment of one to six years, will be disqualified from holding public office for a lifetime, and will not be allowed to vote for five years after serving his sentence.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 16, 2013.