Government workers warned vs political partisanship

GOVERNMENT workers who might engage in political partisanship in this year’s election through campaigning for national or local candidates are reminded that doing such is a violation to the country’s constitution.

Civil Service Commission chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, who arrived in the city on Wednesday for the Anti-Red Tape caravan, reminds the government employees that endorsing and conspicuously supporting a political candidate is prohibited by law.

“Reminder lang na ang public servants ay hindi dapat mag-endorso ng kandidato dahil kung silay mag-endorso mailalagay sa alanganin ang serbisyo publiko kasi mamaya pag natalo ang kinakampanya and kanya ding kabuhayan ay mawawala,” Bala said.

Bala has urged the civil servants to maintain political neutrality as part of the code of ethics and conduct and should not come out supporting political candidates.

Bala said civil servants also have the right to make a choice and vote for a candidate which they think deserve to be in the public position, but not to officially endorse a candidate.

“Kasi bawal yun. Kailangan maging neutral lang, magmasid lamang at kailangan siguraduhin ding bilang Pilipino ang karapatan natin bilang botante ay ating magagamit,” Bala said.

As stipulated in section 2(4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution that “no officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political activity.”

Meanwhile, section 261 (i), Article XXII of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines states that “ any officer or employee in the civil service, except those holding political offices; any officer, employee, or member or the armed forces of the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units that now exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or engages in any partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order, if he is a peace officer,” is considered a prohibited act and an election offense.

Under the penalty clause, election offenses are punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation; disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

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