THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) told national and local candidates to, instead from campaigning on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, use their time to reflect and spend it with their families.
“Rest for two days and devote it to your family,” was the advice of Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal to candidates who have been busy winning the hearts of the Filipino people since the campaign period started.
The Fair Elections Practices Act cites that campaigning is prohibited in those two days in the Holy Week.
“It's really more of a moral thing for the candidates. Kung obviously, wala silang takot sa Comelec, sana may takot naman sila sa Diyos,” said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.
Going to churches and observing Holy Week traditions is allowed as long as a candidate does not promote his bid in any way possible.
“If you’re a candidate and you went to Church and people wanted to take a picture with you, that's fine, but if you suddenly stood up on a church bench and started proclaiming your intention to save the Philippines then that's a problem," Jimenez added.
Supporters meanwhile may continue to wear shirts, caps, ballers or any campaign giveaways during those two days but the commission reminded to avoid grouping together as if to appear the act is meant to campaign for a candidate.
The poll body stressed that observing the religiousness of the Holy Week should be respected.
Some candidates who are not Catholics meanwhile should still observe the two-day break from campaigning as the law provides.
Television advertisements are also not allowed to be aired during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Candidates who will be found guilty of campaigning in those two days may face disqualification charges.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) also called on candidates to spare the trees from campaign materials.
“For candidates running in the May elections, to spare trees in posting their campaign materials,” DENR said in a press statement.
Larrazabal reminded that candidates could only post their campaign paraphernalia in common poster areas or in private residences.
“They can post in common poster areas designated by the commission or as suggested by candidates or political parties. Aside from those, you can put your campaign materials in private residences,” he said.
But Larrazabal added that limitations in size should also be observed even though the materials are posted in private residences.
Comelec has advised citizens to file complaints of sighted unlawful materials. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)