CANDIDATES for the local elections in Cagayan de Oro City participated in the briefing and signing of peace covenant on Tuesday, March 26, led by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in partnership with Lambigit Igsoon para sa Hiniusang Pag-Uswag sa Katilingban (Lihuk) Movement.
Ramil Acol, city election officer, said the candidates' orientation and peace covenant signing aimed to ensure a fair, clean, peaceful and honest election in the city and province.
Acol said it is important to inform the candidates on the Comelec's prohibitions, particularly those stated in the Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act as they have already noticed some that violated the rules even before the campaign period has begun.
The local campaign period will start on March 29.
“May violations talaga. We have documented them. Only lang nga we are waiting further instructions, guidelines sa Manila kay we cannot just prosecute it on our own,” Acol said.
(There are some violations. We have documented them. Only that we are still waiting for further instructions and guidelines in Manila because we cannot just prosecute it on our own.)
Most of the violations are related to the poster rules. Last February, the Comelec removed campaign posters in the city which were either oversize or placed outside a non-campaign poster area or on trees.
“They (the candidates) should try to instruct their supporters or katong gapang pikit-pikit nga didto sa sakto nga areas buhaton, dili maskin bisag asa,” Acol said.
(They should try to instruct their supporters to past their campaign materials at the designated areas, not just anywhere.)
Apart from discussion on Fair Elections Act, tax compliance requirements for candidates, political parties, party-list groups, and campaign contributors was explained by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The Comelec also demonstrated the use of the vote counting machine that will be used during the Election Day and presented Voters Registration Verification System, a program that identifies the voters through their biometrics.
The Comelec and the Lihuk Movement continue to monitor the candidates especially with the upcoming campaign period.
“We hope, that in a very collaborative manner, we can help the Comelec para maka (so that we can) facilitate ug makaporma ta og bag-ong dagway sa politika dinhi sa Cagayan de Oro ( and form a new look of our politics here in Cagayan de Oro). That's our dream pinaagi sa pagtinabangay sa pagkabot og usa ka patas unta nga piniliay (That’s our dream through helping one another ot achieve a fair elections),” Nestor Banuag Jr., Lihuk lead convener and local chairperson of Namfrel-Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental chapter, said.
“Mag uban kita sa pag monitor, mao na atong tumong niini hangtud maabot ang election,” Banuag added.
(Let’s help one another monitor- that is our goal until the elections.)
Acol also reminded the candidates to conduct themselves fairly and “in a way that they have to follow the law.”