WHETHER or not politicians should be allowed to attend and deliver speeches during graduation ceremonies in public schools will be up to the Department of Education (DepEd) central office, a local official said.
Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Bianito Dagatan said they were obliged to follow DepEd rules if its officials decided to heed the call of a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official for public schools to refrain from inviting candidates to graduation rites.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez earlier urged government agencies and public schools to avoid inviting candidates in the 2019 midterm elections as speakers or guests during the campaign period.
While there is no law that prohibits candidates from accepting invitations, Jimenez said it would be better if official events of government agencies and public schools would be free from what could be perceived as partisan political activities.
“We should avoid the appearance of partisanship by avoiding inviting candidates to speak at our events or to participate in any of our official functions,” Jimenez said in a forum in Manila last week.
Dagatan said they would wait for instructions from DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
“We will wait for the formal communication and we will follow the order,” he told Superbalita Cebu.
Dagatan said as soon as he received a memorandum from the head office, he would send copies of the order to district supervisors and principals.
In public schools, it is common practice to invite politicians to deliver inspirational messages to graduating students during commencement exercises.
The campaign period for senatorial and party-list candidates started last Feb. 13. The campaign period for local positions will start on March 29. (FROM PAC OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / KAL)