CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Pampanga has reiterated its warning to candidates of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 against premature campaigning.
Provincial Election Supervisor Lydia Florentino-Pangilinan said this is an election offense which may result in the disqualification of the candidates from holding public office.
“From the moment the aspirants filed their certificates of candidacy last August 28 to September 2, they are already considered as candidates. Thus, they should abide by the rules of the Commission and refrain from prohibited acts like early campaigning and electioneering,” she said.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, it is unlawful for any candidate, prospective candidate, party, or association of persons to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period.
Pangilinan said it is prohibited to place posters and other materials of candidates everywhere before October 19, especially those that introduce them, bear their greetings, or promise things like free education.
“They should take down those materials which they have posted because that is electioneering. That is not allowed. They can be filed with disqualification because of that violation,” she warned.
The election supervisor added that the candidates will be given 10 days from October 19 to 28 for their election campaign, during which they will be allowed to stage their election propaganda on various mediums subject to the limitation on authorized expenses of candidates.
“During the election period, candidates are allowed to use lawful election propaganda. These are campaign materials that follow the allowed size. For posters, it should not exceed 2 feet by 3 feet. For other decals, it must be within eight- and one-half inches in width and 14 inches in length,” Pangilinan detailed.
She added that these materials should only be posted in common poster areas and in private places provided that the owner of the private property allows it.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan also reminds voters to be vigilant against vote buying and vote selling.
“Voters should be wary of candidates or their supporters who give cash or in kind donations, or who promise to give you something in exchange for your votes. If they can afford such things, let us think twice. They will probably recover the money they spent on the voters once they are elected at the barangay,” she said.
Citizens may lodge their complaints against candidates engaging in premature campaigning through the COMELEC offices in their respective cities and municipalities or through their respective Facebook pages.