Do’s and don’t’s on election period
Election period started Sunday night, Jan. 13 in connection with the May 13, 2013 synchronized national and local elections.
It’s a 120- day period that will end on June 12.
Election being an important exercise in a democracy, the government wants to make sure that the environment is conducive to the people being able to choose their leaders freely and peacefully. Thus, there are do’s and don’ts in the Omnibus Election Code (Batas Pambansa 881) that law enforcers are implementing.
Number one is the gun ban.
Guns are now not allowed outside the residence or place of work unless for those granted exemption by the Commission on Elections.
Related ANC report:
Included in the gun is the prohibition on the wearing of uniform of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and members of private security agencies outside their place of work, residence or barracks.
The combined forces of Comelec, AFP and PNP will be setting up checkpoints to implement the law. To avoid misunderstanding or mis-encounters, it is advisable to adapt a cooperative attitude towards personnel manning checkpoints. Authorities said an efficient vehicle check won’t take more than ten minutes.
Motorists are advised to dim the vehicle’s front lights upon approaching checkpoints as a matter of courtesy and to avoid the glare; open the lights inside the vehicles; and roll down the windows for easy inspection.
Armed bodyguards are also prohibited during elections period unless exempted by the Comelec.
We imagine politicians and some government officials have asked for exemptions.
Violators of the gun ban face six years imprisonment, losing their right to vote and disqualification from public office.
Movements of government personnel are also not allowed during this period to prevent politicization of the civil service.
There are government personnel whose work is related to elections. Some politicians might want relatives or friendly personnel to be assigned to his area or would those who are hostile or not willing to cooperate with them re-assigned. This is not allowed.Election period is different from “campaign period” which starts Feb. 12 for national candidates and March 29 for local candidates.
Sec. 80 of the Omnibus Election Code states: “It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period.”
Many politicians circumvent the spirit of this prohibition with their TV ads and billboards that assault truth and good sense. These candidates show disrespect of the law and give us a preview of what kind of public officials they would be if elected.
Comelec in the past had admitted helplessness in implementing the ban on early campaigning.
The people can do something about these violators: don’t vote for them.
Note: Thanks to Director Ferdie Rafanan of Comelec’s Planning Department for these guidelines.