COMELEC CL to BSKE 2023 aspirants: Early campaigning illegal

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Central Luzon warned aspirants of the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) that premature campaigning is an election offense.

COMELEC Assistant Regional Election Director Elmo Duque highlighted that anyone caught soliciting for votes for or against any political candidate, promoting their advocacies, and hanging posters ahead of October 19 shall be punished.

“We can impose charges on candidates who will campaign outside of the October 19-28 campaign period. They shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation,” he said.

Violators shall also be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of their right of suffrage.

Meanwhile, Duque said those who wish to run for position should first file their Certificate of Candidacy (COC) from August 28 to September 2.

“Those who wish to file their COC should do so in the offices of election officers in cities and municipalities,” he reminded.

Election offices are open from 8:00 am up to 4:45 pm.

Moreover, during the campaign period, Duque emphasized that COMELEC allows candidates to stage their election propaganda on television, radio, newspapers or any other medium subject to the limitation on authorized expenses of candidates.

Aspirants could also use pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed materials the size of which does not exceed eight and one half inches in width and fourteen inches in length. 

Handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any particular political party or candidate for public office are also allowed.

The commission also permits cloth, paper or cardboard posters with an area not exceeding 2 feet by 3 feet.

Central Luzon has a total of 7,553,884 registered voters for the Barangay Elections and 2,458,090 registered voters for the Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.

The region has about 21,823 clustered precincts.

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