The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminded candidates in the May midterm polls to abstain from campaigning during the Holy Week, particularly on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Bohol Comelec supervisor Atty. Eddie Alba issued the reminder during the congressional candidates’ forum organized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at the Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium on Monday.
Alba’s statement was in line with the Omnibus Election Code and the reminder of Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia for candidates not to campaign during the two-day holiday.
Guia said Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, including the day before the election, are “quiet periods”.
“In the electoral lingo, these days are called ‘quiet periods’,” Guia said in an interview, adding that motorcades are also banned during these days.
Guia noted that reason why campaigning is prohibited a day before the election is to give voters time to choose among candidates before the big day.
He said this will allow the electorate to really think about who to vote for and finalized their choices of candidates on election day.
Subsequently, Guia said giving of T-shirts, bottled water, or fans bearing the picture or name of candidates are not allowed and may be considered as vote-buying or giving of anything of value to the public.
“It is on Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code. It can be ground for disqualification but what is clear is vote-buying,” Guia added.
Meanwhile, an official of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines’ reminded the faithful not to wear campaign T-shirts inside churches during the Holy Week.
Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary, said one should refrain from wearing clothes bearing the names or photos of candidates when going to church.
He said a person goes to church to pray and to be with God, adding that the public, including candidates or supporters, should change their clothes if they really want to attend mass or visit a church to pray.
“Even there is no law which bans this, they should be sensitive and have a sense of delicadeza. Let us respect the place of worship and prayer,” he said in Filipino. (with reports from PNA)