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No politicking for government employees

| by: Fides Palicte
PIA Cebu

Lawyer Ferdinand Gujilde, Cebu Province Comelec Election Officer, reminds government employees to  stay clear of election related offenses and for candidates to wage decent campaigns.

Gujilde asked the general public  to stay vigilant and report election offenses. This isn’t the first time such a reminder was made by an election officer in relation to the call for clean and honest elections.

Guesting at the weekly Kapistorya of the Provincial Information Office, Gujilde talked about the right of aggrieved candidates to seek redress when they believe their candidacy has been compromised by media entities.

“A candidate who feels aggrieved by a media entity can ask the same media entity for same time and space which was accorded to the candidate’s political opponent,” Gujilde said.

If this candidate’s request for redress falls on deaf ears or said media outlet is not keen about granting such a request, the candidate can write to the COMELEC central office in Manila to complain.

The media outlet has to do some explaining when the time comes but Gujilde stresses this is nothing to be concerned about. Gujilde describes this provision of the COMELEC law as toothless as it provides no penalties.

Violations covering campaign materials, posting in designated poster areas, the conduct of checkpoints, the conduct of high level campaigning and campaign fund donations are the most common concerns election officers find themselves explaining very often during election period.

One other important reminder from the Provincial Comelec Election Officer is about politicians (referring to incumbents) who may use or exploit calamities to their advantage. “Even members of their families cannot participate in distribution of relief goods. Calamity funds can only be released through the Philippine National Red Cross.,” Gujilde added.

He also calls on government employees to just stay clear of misconceptions and perceptions that may lead to possible violations of civil service regulations.