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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Candidates told: Observe health rules, self-police

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday reminded candidates to lead by example in complying with health protocols to avoid turning their campaign sorties into COVID-19 super spreader events,

“The DILG is calling on the candidates to practice self-policing. Hopefully, they lead the way in observing the law to make their supporters follow them,’’ Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Malaya said it is the “collective responsibility” of the public and the political groups to adhere to lawful election campaign activities.

“I think just like what normally happens in our everyday lives where family members go outdoors or leave for work, sometimes they bring COVID-19 with them at home. That is what will exactly happen in the campaign activities if the people will not exercise precaution,” he said.

“Guarding against super spreader events in the country should be a collective responsibility of the candidates, their supporters, their political parties, and the public and of course including the DILG, the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.

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Malaya reminded candidates that violations of health protocols are considered campaign rule infractions that carry varying penalties from jail terms of not less than six months but not more than one year, disqualification from holding public office, and suspension of the right to vote.

The PNP said it will strictly monitor candidates’ compliance with the campaign rules.

“I’m sure that all candidates are well aware of the Comelec resolution on campaigning. We will not look at any political color here, but our role is to enforce the health protocol. Whoever shall violate, will have to face the consequences. Please comply with these requirements so our PNP personnel can better monitor election-related activities. Our goal is to ensure the safety of everyone participating,” PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said.

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