Children used to distribute sample ballots
MANILA, Philippines - Although falling far behind the voting age, children have been spotted outside precincts on May 13, election day.
Their task is different: to distribute sample ballots and flyers.
In Las Piñas, children were seen distributing sample ballots and flyers near the precincts early morning on election day.
As early as 6:30 am, children and adults stationed themselves at the main gates of Canaynay Aguila Avenue National High School to distribute "Team Nene" sample ballots with senatorial bets.
"Team Nene" stands for the Nacionalista Party which includes re-electionists Mayor Vergel "Nene" Aguilar, Vice Mayor Luis Bustamante, and Rep Mark Villar.
Flyers for councilors were also seen distributed by children at the Las Piñas North National High School and Vergon Elementary School, Las Piñas City.
Similar incidents were reported at the Las Piñas Science High School.
While some of the kids admitted they volunteered to distribute the flyers for their grandmother and father, who were active supporters of candidates, some children, and even adults, did not know who asked them to send out the campaign materials.
In Pagadian City, the same phenomenon was reported by Rappler ambassador James Annjo Salomon.
On his tweet, early Monday morning (May 13), Salomon said, “Children (are) distributing sample ballots outside San Jose Elementary School.”
Roughly a week ago, Pangasinan elections supervisor Marino Salas warned against the use of children for the distribution of campaign materials on election day. According to Salas, this has been a common election violation in Pangasinan.
According to Salas, the instruction is to confiscate materials and bring children to the precincts where their parents will be called.
According to Article 1 (General Provisions) of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, campaign periods shall not include election day and the day before it. - with reports from Rappler ambassadors, James Annjo Salomon and Justine Siscar/Rappler.com
Visit #PHvote, Rappler's coverage of the 2013 Philippine elections.
Get to know the candidates through our comprehensive profile pages.