‘Run Sara Run’ banners not considered electoral offense, Comelec says

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021   •   578

MANILA, Philippines – Banners and other paraphernalia urging presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run in the 2022 national elections are not considered an electoral offense, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez explained that it is not a violation of election laws because it is not election period, and Mayor Sara herself is not a candidate yet.

“Kahit nakapag-file na ng COC (certificate of candidacy) ang tao, kung hindi pa naman nagsisimula ang campaign period, hindi pa siya itinuturing na official candidate. At dahil hindi pa siya official candidate, kahit anong gawin niya, hindi pa siya pwedeng tratuhin bilang kandidato. Ibig sabihin, hindi pa siya pwedeng mag-commit ng election offense,” Jimenez said.

The poll body official said that the banners sprouting in different areas can only be considered as part of freedom of expression.

The campaign period for May 9, 2022 elections will start from February 8 to May 7, 2022.

Sara Duterte earlier thanked her supporters behind the campaign but she reiterated that she has no plans of joining the 2022 presidential polls.

She also urged her supporters to remove the tarpaulins they mounted without permits and to stop staging motorcades and other activities that may violate the health and safety protocols against COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Davao City requires RT-PCR testing for 1st to 3rd gen close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 case

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2021

First to third-generation close contacts of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases will now be required to undergo Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, according to the Davao City Government.

Vice Mayor and acting Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte ordered the mandatory swabbing of all F1, F2, and F3 close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case which will be effective until December 31, 2021.

He issued Executive Order (E.O.) No. 20, Series of 2021, known as “An Order Providing For Mandatory Swabbing Of All F1, F2, and F3 Contacts of an RT-PCR Confirmed Positive Case of COVID-19 in Davao City.”

As stated in the EO, the acting mayor said, “There is a need to expand the testing of contacts beyond the F1 category as an attempt to control the transmission of the virus.”

He also cited the need to recalibrate strategies to prevent and control COVID-19 transmission in Davao City amid the surge of cases in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Vice Mayor Duterte is the acting mayor of Davao City from April 6 to 10 while her sister Mayor Inday Sara Duterte took a leave for health reasons. AAC

Sara Duterte flies to Singapore for ‘personal health management’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday confirmed she took a flight to Singapore for “personal health management.”

In a statement, Duterte said she is on leave from April 6 to 10.

“I have a travel authority to Singapore from the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government). The reason is personal health management,” the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte said.

Local media earlier reported about the mayor taking a trip to Singapore on Tuesday afternoon. She was said to be accompanied by one of her children, a nanny, and a member of the Presidential Security Group.

“All protocols for return to Davao City including RT-PCR testing and 14-day quarantine have all been pre-arranged,” she said.

Voter registration in NCR Plus still suspended — COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Voter registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby areas will remain suspended with the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced Monday.

In an advisory, COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said that voter registration in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – tagged as NCR Plus – is still suspended and all election offices in the said areas will remain temporarily closed.

“From April 5 to 11, 2021, voter registration will still be suspended in all offices of the Election Officers (OEO) in NCR Plus, as well as in the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in the main office and its satellite offices,” Jimenez said.

During the same period, the poll body said the issuance of voter’s certification in said OEOs and the COMELEC main office in Intramuros will likewise remain suspended.

“Despite the physical closure of COMELEC offices in NCR Plus, we will continue to discharge our duties and serve the public,” Jimenez said.

“For any concern, the various offices may be reached through their official email addresses which may be accessed at comelec.gov.ph,” he added.

On Saturday, the national government extended the ECQ in NCR plus areas until April 11 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The poll body said that during this period, e-filing of documents may be done pursuant to the COMELEC guidelines on electronic filing.

“Under Resolution No. 10673, the COMELEC will continue receiving, via e-mail, petitions, verified pleadings, memoranda, comments, briefs, and other submissions, in PDF format,” Jimenez said.

For the rest of the country, COMELEC said voter registration will resume on April 5, Monday.

“Applications will be accepted from Mondays to Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. but the issuance of the voter’s certification is until 5 p.m. Friday is the COMELEC-designated disinfection day, in addition to the LGU-prescribed disinfection, if any,” it added.

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