THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local government units (LGU) to clear all government facilities, properties and vehicles from any campaign materials.
Citing Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the use of public funds, money deposited in trust, equipment, facilities owned or controlled by government for any election campaign or any partisan political activity is prohibited.
“We will not allow candidates to use government properties as a platform for their election campaign. It’s clearly prohibited. Government buildings, properties, vehicles, and equipment are for official use only and may not be used as venues or tools for partisan political activity,” he said.
Año said LGUs that will fail to comply with election prohibitions will immediately be reported to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
DILG Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya urged the public to take a picture of the campaign material together with a copy of the day’s newspaper and immediately send it to the DILG or the Comelec.
“The Comelec has promised to act on these violations immediately. There are Comelec election officers in most towns in the country. Let us help Comelec in ensuring a peaceful and honest election by reporting violations to their field offices,” he said.
Malaya also noted that the use of government facilities, properties and vehicles for campaigning events is prohibited.
He said LGU officials and employees are also banned from promoting or endorsing candidates of the upcoming elections and must abstain from engaging in partisan political activities, except local elective officials who, by the political nature of their position, are exempted from the ban.
“Civil service personnel are tasked to serve our country with integrity and neutrality. It’s none of our business to influence public opinion on poll bets. Let’s just do our jobs and respect the people’s ability to make informed decisions during the May elections,” he said.
On Thursday, February 14, the Comelec has ordered 34 election candidates to take down their illegal posters as the official campaign period has yet to start on March 30 for local election candidates and those vying for a spot at the House of Representatives. (SunStar Philippines)