Time for reckoning: the electoral period has started, candidates must stand or resign

First word

NOW that the Electoral Commission (Comelec) has ruled on 1) the electoral period prescribed for the national elections of May 9, and on 2) the specific campaign periods for all the elective positions at stake in the ballot, we have arrived at the calculation point or decision point, when all candidates must make the final decision to continue with their candidacy or to quit the race.

The Comelec election calendar sets the truncated election calendar, specifying which activities are authorized or prohibited.

Candidates will no longer have the luxury of ruminating on their candidacy.

Some presidential or vice-presidential candidates who clearly lack the organization, resources, and public support to get started in earnest, would have to face the reality of their pipe dream.

Others, like Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who desperately invent obstacles to derail the elections, are clearly trying to keep their high government positions or are simply seeking a deal with the next administration.

For politicians and civil servants, the prospect of losing their wages and government privileges is too much to bear. Some of them have been in the public payroll most of their working life, they cannot think of life elsewhere.

Most politicians and civil servants will not be able to find work in the private sector if their lives depended on it.

Either they are incompetent for the highly competitive life of the private sector, or they are too old to be employable.

Think about it. If you are a corporate headhunter or the CEO of a large corporation, would you seriously consider hiring one of the politicians and bureaucrats who will be fired on June 30 of this year? Would you pay them the same extravagant salary they got at the expense of the public?

No way, unless you or your business owed them the favor of a government plum contract.

150-day election period

Through Resolution 10695, the Election Commission announced that the 150-day campaign period for the national elections of May 9, 2022 would officially begin on Sunday January 9 and end on Wednesday June 8, when most elections would have been known or confirmed. With the exception of those competitions which will be subject to protests by losing candidates and which, as one might expect, will drag on.

The 150-day election period prescribes the calendar of activities and the period of prohibited acts leading to the holding of national and local elections on May 9, 2022.

Resolution 10695 also prescribed specific campaign periods for the election of public officials of the president and vice president, members of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives), and senior officials of local government units across the country. the archipelago.

Resolution 10695 sets the campaign period for presidential and vice-presidential candidates and list groups from February 8 to May 7, 2022.

For candidates for the House of Representatives and for regional, provincial, municipal and municipal positions, their campaign can only officially start on March 25, and also ends on May 7, 2022.

However, the campaign is banned during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, April 14 and April 15, 2022, respectively.

For a one-month period from April 10 to May 9, 2022, foreign voters can vote at Philippine embassies, consulates and other posts under the overseas postal voting system. However, campaigning abroad is prohibited during this period.

Absent local voters will have three days to vote on April 27, 28 and 29, 2022. The last day to apply to become an absent local voter is March 7, 2022.

The firearms ban will be in effect throughout the election period; this means that carrying, carrying or transporting firearms or other lethal weapons, except with the written authorization of Comelec, is prohibited.

The following acts are also prohibited: the use of bodyguards or security by candidates without written authorization from Comelec; the organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces or other similar forces; modification of the territory of an enclosure or creation of a new enclosure; transfer or movement of civil servants and civil servants; and the suspension of local elected officials.

An alcohol ban will be in effect from May 8 to May 9, 2022, which means that the sale, supply, offer, purchase, service or consumption of intoxicating alcohol is prohibited.

Campaigning the day before polling day until polling day itself is prohibited, in addition to the following prohibited acts: offering or accepting free transport, food or drink or valuables; solicit votes or make propaganda for or against a candidate or any political party in the polling station or within 30 meters of it; opening of voting booths or stands for the sale of goods or refreshments within a radius of 30 meters from the polling place; and the holding of fairs, cockfighting, boxing, horse racing or any other similar sport.

18,100 positions are at stake in the 2022 elections: one for each of the presidents and vice-presidents; senators, 12; groups of lists, 63; members of the House of Representatives, 253; governor, 81; vice-governor, 81; Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 782; mayor, 1,634; vice-mayor, 1,634; and Sangguniang Panglungsod / Bayan, 13,558.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, Comelec has also set the rules on the physical campaign mode. It will be different in each area of ​​the country, depending on the alert level classification set by Comelec.

These rules will apply at the start of the campaign period on February 8.

“We are aware that we already have alert levels 1, 2 and 3 defined by the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. We will reflect them in our own category levels for the purpose of deciding the restriction on in-person campaigning, ”Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told media.

Jimenez said that a Comelec Campaign Committee (CCC) will be established at municipal, regional and national levels, which will be responsible for determining the category level of a particular area, authorizing gatherings, interacting with the barangay and health officials to write reports. tell how the campaigns are carried out and the other tasks assigned to him by the commission en banc.

The approval or disapproval of requests for the conduct of election campaigns or some form of authorization process is also part of the functions of the CCC. The CCCs will also prepare reports regarding the conduct of election campaigns and other functions as may be determined by the commission.

These Comelec rules and guidelines would be more impressive if the commission were more direct in quickly resolving outstanding issues regarding the final list of candidates (so that official ballots could be printed) and cases of untimely disqualification against the leader. undisputed part of the presidential race.

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