'Unnecessary, unfair': Gabriela slams Comelec campaign permit system

Published February 11, 2022, 10:17 AM

by Seth Cabanban

Gabriela Women’s party-list has sought the cancelation of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) campaign permit system, saying it encroaches on free speech and puts some candidates at a disadvantage.

Gabriela Women’s Party (PHOTO FROM GABRIELA WOMEN’S PARTY FB/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“In seeking to regulate campaign activities, Comelec is dangerously treading on regulations of free speech and free assembly which occupy a preferred spot in the hierarchy of civil liberties,” asserted Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas in a press statement on Friday, Feb. 11.

According to Brosas, the campaign permit system favors bigger-name candidates by putting lesser-known poll aspirants at a disadvantage.

“Such campaign permit system further distorts the already skewed playing field. For a candidate with meager resources and small machinery, these bureaucratic requirements erode the already slim chances of reaching potential voters,” Brosas claimed.

The lady lawmaker also said that the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) health guidelines are already sufficient in regulating campaign events.

“IATF guidelines are already in place to ensure mobility restrictions and health protocols. Tingin namin ay makakasapat na ito. Hindi na kailangan ng campaign permit system (We think this is enough. The campaign permit system is unnecessary),” she added.

Earlier, presidential candidate and labor leader Leodegario “Ka Leody” De Guzman drew some flak from the commission for not acquiring a campaign permit for his proclamation rally in Quezon City last Tuesday, Feb. 8.

“Per records from the National Capital Region (NCR), they don’t have any…they didn’t receive any application for the conduct of any mode of campaign from the group of Ka Leody de Guzman,” said Comelec Director Elaiza David in an online briefing on Feb. 8.

According to De Guzman’s team, they had to re-file a permit due to a last minute venue change for their proclamation rally.

As per Comelec resolution No. 10732, all in-person campaigns and motorcades require the application of a permit from comelec offices and from the respective local government unit.

 
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