Hugpong cannot police members vs premature campaign-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
AN OFFICIAL of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod said on Thursday the party cannot police their member who are seemingly doing "premature campaigning" by roaming around various barangays and communities in Davao City, especially aspiring candidates who are not incumbent officials or those who do not hold public office.
Lawyer Melchor Quitain, secretary general of Hugpong, in Thursday’s I-Speak forum at the City Hall told reporters that individual decision of their members is beyond the party's control.
So far, he said, he hasn't heard of names under their party who have been involved in such.
"There is nothing better but to follow the laws. Even if it is not illegal, is it moral?" Quitain asked.
For Quitain, even if the law does not prohibit persons who already have filed their respective certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2013 elections since there's still no election to speak of, these individuals must also be guided by their own moral values.
"We also have to look at the moral side of the issue," Quitain said.
He said in times like these, when laws seemed to be vague, persons' own "conscience" must prevail and fill in the gap.
During the filing of COC, Hugpong fielded its official candidates for all positions from the council race up to the mayoralty position.
On Monday, former Vice Mayor Louie Bonguyan, who was the official bet of Hugpong for the congressional representative position against incumbent Representative Karlo Nograles (first district), admitted during the press briefing with Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and subsequently with the Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that he has been roaming around barangays in his areas to visit communities and talk to people.
Bonguyan said this is part of his preparation for his fight against Nograles whom he referred as a "formidable" opponent.
Any engagement and activity done by any candidate outside the campaign period cannot be considered as campaign activity.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 12, 2012.