By Merlina Hernando-Malipot and Jeffrey Damicog
Public and private elementary and secondary school officials as well as government prosecutors nationwide have been warned against engaging in electioneering and partisan political activities.
The Department of Education (DepEd) reminded school officials to ensure that graduation or moving-up rites will not be used as venues for politicking or electioneering.
We keep on reminding our DepEd officials and personnel that graduation or moving-up ceremonies should not be used as a political forum,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.
In DepEd Order No. 002 series of 2019 or the School Year 2018-2019 K to 12 Basic Education Program End of School Year (EOSY) Rites, Briones emphasized that graduation and moving up or completion ceremony “shall be conducted in an appropriate solemn ceremony befitting the learners and their parents and shall not be used as a political forum.”
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) “to remain neutral, impartial and non-partisan in the performance of their duties in relation to the upcoming 2019 National and Local Elections.”
Guevarra cited that 1987 Constitution prohibits employees in the civil service from engaging “directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.”
He also said that this is prohibited under the provisions of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987), Republic Act 7160 (the Local Government Code of 1991), and the Batas Pambansa Blg. 881(the Omnibus Election Code), among others.
“Please be reminded that electioneering or engaging in partisan political activities by one holding a non-political office is a punishable offense,” he stated.