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Local bet campaigns via Facebook—on Good Friday


Despite the Commission on Elections' warning against campaigning on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, a local bet in Bataan province on Friday posted a campaign photo on social networking site Facebook. Jules Moncupa, a candidate for councilor in Dinalupihan town, posted a photo of his candidacy on his Facebook account and asked his Facebook friends to "share" it.
 
Screengrab from Facebook.
"GAME NA! ... Please Share, my friends. Thanks. :-)." he said on the photo. In his photo, Moncupa described himself as "Kaibigan ng Bayan (everyone's friend) " and "outstanding councilor of Bataan." His ballot number, 16, was also placed near his name. The photo's time stamp on Facebook indicated it was posted at 3:14 a.m. Friday. Moncupa told GMA News Online that he was not aware that his poster was shared on Facebook. "It was my daughter who posted it there. I asked her why, she says that she knew March 29 to be the official start of the campaign period," he said, explaining that his daughter was apparently unaware of the campaign ban on Good Friday. He also said that what his daughter posted was a request for his friends to repost his poster. "This is the equivalent of recruiting campaign leaders outside the world of the internet. And recruiting campaign leaders is not outside of the law," he said. "I need not campaign to my friends since they are already presumed to be my voters," he explained. According to Moncupa, social networking sites are not covered by the COMELEC regulation on campaign matters. Earlier, the Comelec had warned candidates against campaigning on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Under Republic Act 7166, the campaign period may exclude the day before Election Day, the day of the election itself, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. Those who violate the rule may face one to six years' imprisonment, and disqualification from holding public office, and deprivation of the right to vote. Comelec Resolution 9385, which lists the calendar of activities for the campaign period, also notes that campaigning on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is prohibited. On Black Saturday, the campaign period resumes for national candidates, and begins for local candidates. — Amanda Lago/KG, GMA News