The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Tuesday, Dec. 7 that while it agrees with the recent pronouncement of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the prohibition on the conduct of political rallies, the problem lies with who will be enforcing it.
In a radio interview on DZBB, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez mentioned that the enforcement of the prohibition should fall within the jurisdiction of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as well as the DILG.
“Ang sinasabi nga namin nasa puder yan ng IATF…kasama na diyan ang DILG (What we are saying is it [enforcement] is within the authority of the IATF and it includes the DILG),” Jimenez said.
He added that one of the problems are huge political rallies and gatherings wherein people stay in one particular area which can potentially become superspreader events as opposed to political caravans and motorcades in open spaces where transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is minimal.
Jimenez stated that when it comes to the actual campaign period next year, they have already formulated the specific guidelines to be followed but it still does not apply to the aspirants.
He also urged lawmakers to amend the measures to disallow such political activities to be conducted ahead of the campaign period but as for the said prohibition, Comelec said that it is up to the local authorities.
“Una nasa mambabatas, pangalawa nasa local authorities din natin na yun kasama DILG diyan (First it’s up to the lawmakers, second it is within the jurisdiction of local authorities including the DILG),” Jimenez said.
“Kasi hindi naman pwedeng sasabihin lang natin na bawal tapos hindi naman natin i-eenforce (Because we cannot just say that it is prohibited but then it will not be enforced),” he added.