BAGUIO CITY – Political candidates for the May 2016 election are still free to do anything until campaign period starts.
Atty. Julius Torres, Cordillera regional director of the Commission on Elections(Comelec) explained that premature campaigning is no longer in order because of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Comelec vs. Penera case.
He said the SC ruling has superseded the election law which used to consider electioneering outside of the campaign period as an election offense.
A candidate can only be liable for prohibited campaign acts during the campaign period, Torres said.
Republic Act 9369 or the Poll Automation Law states that “any person who files his certificate of candidacy (COC) can only be considered a candidate at the start of the campaign period” and that “unlawful acts applicable to a candidate shall be in effect only upon the start of the campaign period.”
For the May 9, 2016 polls, the campaign period for national candidates starts on February 9, 2016 and on March 25 for candidates seeking local elective posts.
With the SC ruling, we are requesting all candidates to tow the line and campaign only on campaign periods, Torres said./JDP|JBZ- PIA CAR