THE two major political groups in Cebu City will refrain from shaking hands with prospective voters and conducting dialogues with supporters from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, April 18 to 21.
Candidates under the Barug-PDP Laban and Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) set their campaigns aside to observe Holy Week.
This, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminded candidates for the May elections to refrain from campaigning during Holy Week, especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Campaigning on these days, which fall on April 18 and April 19 this year, is prohibited under the Omnibus Election Code.
“Campaigning during Holy Week is banned under the Omnibus Election Code and this ban is also included in the calendar of activities released by the Comelec to the public, including the candidates,” a Comelec official said in a SunStar Philippines report.
Among other activities, the giving away of campaign paraphernalia and playing of jingles will be prohibited during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Candidates who violate the ban could be charged with an election offense and may face a prison term of up to six years, disqualification from running for public office and removal of their right to vote.
In an interview on Wednesday, April 17, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, Barug’s candidate for mayor, said they suspended their visits to the villages to avoid disrupting activities for Lent.
“We will resume campaigning on Monday because this is the time for reflection and prayers,” he said.
Aside from the suspension of the campaign, Labella said he would not respond to accusations posted by his political rival, BOPK leader and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, on Facebook.
Since last week, Labella and Osmeña have been trading barbs on social media.
BOPK-allied councilors Jerry Guardo and Dave Tumulak said their campaign sorties are also suspended because they want to observe Lent.
They will resume their campaign on Monday, April 22. (From PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)