Election ban lifted...and will be in place again
MANILA, Philippines – Citizens will have but a short breather from a long list of election-related bans.
While the 24 types of prohibitions were lifted on June 13, the end of the 5-month midtem election period, almost just as many will be in place again for the youth and village polls.
The election period covering the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will run from September 28 to November 12.
Election day in the country's 42,000 barangays will be on October 28, a Monday.
Comelec Resolution 9715, promulgated on Tuesday, June 19, lists 22 activities that will be prohibited in various periods within the election period:
Election period (September 28 to November 12)
- issuance of appointments, promotions, creation of new positions, or giving of salary increases in government offices, agencies, or instrumentalities;
- alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct;
- illegal release of prisoners;
- raising of funds through dances, lotteries, cockfights, etc.;
- carrying of firearms/deadly weapons, including wearing of uniforms, insignias, etc.;
- organizing or maintaining reaction/strike forces or similar forces;
- transfer and detail of officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers;
- suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal, or barangay officer;
- use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates, whether or not such bodyguards are regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or other government law enforcement agency.
Campaign period (October 18 to 26)
- removing, destroying, obliterating, defacing, tampering, or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda;
- making any donation or gift in cash or in kind, etc.;
- use of armored/land/water/air craft;
- appointing or using special policemen;
- construction or maintenance of provincial, city, municipal, or barangay-funded, roads, and bridges.
Eve of election day up to election day (October 27 to 28)
- selling, furnishing, offering, buying, serving, or taking intoxicating liquor, etc.;
- giving, accepting, free transportation, food, drinks, and things of value.
Election day (October 28)
- vote buying and vote selling;
- voting more than once or in substitution of another;
- soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda for or against any candidate or any political party within 30 meters from the polling place;
- opening of booths or stalls for the sale, etc. of wares, merchandise, or refreshments within a 30-meter radius from the polling place;
- holding of fairs, cockfights, boxing horse races, or similar sports.
The prohibited acts in relation to the barangay and SK elections are almost similar to those identified in the midterm election period, when 24 kinds of bans were put in place during various phases of the election period.
The election period for the May national and local elections was from January 13 to June 12.
For the May elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to extend the original two-day liquor ban to five days. The Supreme Court, however, stopped the implementation of the ban extension.
A total of 3,684 individuals nationwide were arrested between January 13 and June 11 for violating the gun ban. Most of those arrested were civilians, and a few were government officials.
Comelec Resolution 9715 not only lists down the prohibited acts, it also indicates the following important deadlines:
- July 22 to July 31 - filing of application for registration as a voter, or transfer of registration records
- October 15 to October 17 - filing of Certificates of Candidacy
- November 27 - filing of sworn statements of election contributions and expenditures.