Comelec urges lawmakers to fix 'loophole' in premature campaigning

Published December 7, 2021, 1:25 PM

by Dhel Nazario

How can a candidate even be accosted for premature campaigning if it’s already the campaign period?

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez answers questions from the media during a press briefing at the Comelec office at Intramuros, Manila.(photo by Ali Vicoy)

Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez called on Tuesday, Dec. 7 lawmakers to amend the existing election law that has allowed political parties and caravans to be conducted since it is not necessarily considered as premature campaigning.

“Palagi namin yun pinananawagan sa mga mambabatas na kailangan baguhin na yan (We have always been urging the lawmakers that we need to amend that),” he said in an interview on DZBB.

READ MORE: Lente explains why Comelec is not going after ‘premature election campaigning’

Technically, according to the Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369 or the amended automated election law there are still no candidates. Those who filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) remain to be aspirants. Additionally, a person is only a candidate during the campaign period, which is February for National and March for local candidates.

Jimenez has earlier said in a tweet that “election rules still don’t apply to would-be candidates”.

Due to this prevailing measure, others who do not have the capacity to organize such rallies and campaign activities are left out since they do not gain the same popularity that other more powerful aspirants have been attaining in the past few weeks.

“Hindi na balanse ang ating playing field dahil nga dito sa loophole na ito (The playing field is no longer balanced because of this loophole),” Jimenez said.