Comelec begins drafting guidelines for online campaigning

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2021   •   254

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) sees the benefits of online platforms for candidates in the upcoming 2022 elections.

Given the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for such a mode of campaigning to curb COVID-19 transmission.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, they are still finalizing the guidelines on the use of online platforms in election campaigning.

Comelec stressed that the poll body is looking for other methods that the candidates may adopt amid the COVID-19 situation.

“It’s not really advisable for the candidates to go on a face to face campaign. I think we may limit or we may introduce some other forms of campaign that the candidates can adopt,” said Commissioner Aimee Ferolino.

For election watchdog Kontra Daya, one crucial aspect that needs to be closely monitored is the campaign spending of every candidate.

The group said some have already  started campaigning. The Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) has released a list of potential bets who have begun posting campaign feelers on social media.

Another important aspect that needs monitoring is the possible spread of misinformation or the so-called negative campaigning.

“Kailangan talaga na tingnang mabuti ang kanilang mga mensahe. Bakit sila naging instant commercial model? Bakit merong silang biglaan infomercial na isinasagawa? Ilang buwan bago yung formal na campaign period,” said Danilo Arao, Kontra Daya’s convenor.

The group suggests allowing face-to-face campaigning but with limitations because not all candidates can afford the huge cost of radio, TV and internet campaigning. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Pahayag ni Pangulong Duterte na pagdadala ng maraming pera sa kampanya, idinepensa ng Palasyo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ipinagtanggol ng Palasyo ng Malakanyang ang panibagong kontrobersiyal na pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte hinggil sa pagdadala ng maraming pera sa pangangampanya.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, fund-raising sa mga pribadong indibiduwal ang tinutukoy ng punong ehekutibo na hindi naman aniya ipinagbabawal ng batas.

Batid rin aniya ng pangulo na iligal gamitin ang pondo ng taumbayan para sa anomang partisan activities lalo na sa vote-buying.

“There is no prohibition in the Omnibus Election Code to raise funds from private individuals for the candidacies of individuals. So, that is what the president meant, it is an assurance to his party mates that he will not only physically campaign for them he will also raise funds for them,” ang paliwanag ni Roque.

Sa National Assembly ng partidong PDP-Laban sa Clark, Pampanga noong Sabado, sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte na handa siyang mangampanya para sa mga miyembro ng partido na nais muling kumandidato sa nalalapit na halalan. Magdadala rin aniya siya ng sako-sakong pera.

“Those running for reelection, ikakampanya ko kayo city por city. Totoo ‘yan. Kayong mga nagtatakbo, I will — I commit to you. Talagang pupunta ako city por city, province por province, kakampanya ko kayo. Pero — at saka magdala ako ng maraming pera por sako kung mayroon,” ang pahayag ng pangulo.

Una nang kinuwestiyon ni Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes ang pahayag na ito ng punong ehekutibo at sinabing may salapi ang pangulo para sa kampanya pero walang pera para sa ayuda sa pandemic response, at mga sektor na labis na naapektuhan ng krisis.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Palasyo na sa kasalukuyan ay wala pang pinal na listahan ng senatorial bets si Pangulong Duterte para sa 2022 elections bagaman ilan na sa kaniyang mga gabinete ang iniendorso nito sa publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pimentel hopes Comelec will intervene in squabble inside PDP-Laban

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Koko Pimentel expressed high hopes that the current conflict between two factions inside the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will be resolved through the intervention of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This is if the conflict within the party continues until the submission of sworn information and update statements (SIUS) listing the party’s current members and officers.

“The Comelec should have a procedure na on how to speedy resolve this. Pwede naman silang mag-trace back. Sino ba yung recognize namin na party, PDP-laban. Then step by step,” Pimentel, the party’s Executive Vice-Chairman said.

“Ngayon umatras sila. Doon sa nagke-claim na PDP Laban, umatras sila. Kung sino ngayon yung makaatras dun sa recognize ng Comelec, that should be their first choice,” Pimentel added.

For Senator Pimentel, emerging factions within the party are not new.

In November 2018, the Comelec ruled that Senator Pimentel’s faction is the duly authorized representative of the PDP-Laban against the rival faction led by lawyer Atty. Rogelio Garcia.

The camp of PDP-Laban’s Vice Chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi also expects the poll body to intervene and resolve the conflict.

“Kasi at the end of the day ang aming pagtatalo, sino ba ang magreresolba? Kung magtututuloy-tuloy ang pagtatalo? Ang Comelec,” noted Atty. Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s Acting Secretary-General said.

Comelec’s ruling over the two factions is critical because whoever leads the PDP-Laban signs all documents for submission to the poll body, including the party’s official list of candidates for the 2022 National Elections.

Based on Comelec’s calendar, they have until August 15 to submit their SIUS.

But the faction of Secretary Cusi is determined to resolve the conflicts and prevent any split in the party.

“We will not allow that. Aayusin namin ang PDP-Laban. After the meeting tomorrow, I promise you, we will have a stronger PDP-Laban,” Matibag said.

“There might be legal questions but we have prepared for it in any forum,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to political science expert Professor Dennis Coronacion, if President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly decides to exit the PDP-Laban and join other political parties, his popularity will not be affected.

“Same pa rin yan. Actually kung titingnan natin yung mga political parties naman talaga, they don’t matter sa Philippine politics. They only matter because kinakailangan ng candidate ng affiliation. I think it’s required by the Comelec,” Coronacion said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Comelec to set up satellite registration for PWDs in Navotas City on July 16

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a satellite registration for persons with disability (PWDs) in Navotas City on Friday (July 16).

The registration will be located at the Navoserve Office in Navotas City Hall Annex.

Registrants must be Filipino citizen who are not yet a registered voter, provided he/she possesses the following qualifications:

– At least eighteen (18) years of age on or before May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections;
– A resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections; and
– Not otherwise disqualified by law.

Documentary requirements include any of the following proof of identification:
-Philippine Identification Card (PhilID)
-Employee’s identification card (ID), with the signature of the employer or authorized representative;
-Postal ID ;
-PWD Discount ID;
-Student’s ID or library card, signed by the school authority;
-Senior Citizen’s ID;
-Driver’s license;
-NBI clearance;
-Passport;
-SSS/GSIS ID;
-Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID;
-License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC);
-Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in case of members of ICCs or IPs; and
-Any other valid ID.

In the absence of any of the above-mentioned identification documents, the applicant may be identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where he/she intends to be registered, or by any of his/her relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.

No registered voter or relative shall be allowed to identify more than three applicants.

The Comelec said Community Tax Certificates (cedula) and Philippine National Police (PNP) clearance are not considered valid identification documents for purposes of registration.

Failure to present any of the above requirements, a person shall not be issued an application form, nor shall his/her pre-accomplished application form be accepted.

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