As the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections near, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Friday reminded candidates and the public of its guidelines and prohibitions during the campaign period, starting Friday, May 4, until May 12.
According to the COMELEC, the prohibitions include:
- Removing, destroying, obliterating, defacing, tampering or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda
- Making any donation or gift in cash or in kind
- Appointing or using special policemen, special/confidential agents or the like
- Policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards of public official or candidates
- Using armored land, water or air craft
- Construction or maintenance of barangay funded roads and bridges
- Appointment or hiring of new employees, creation of new position, promotion, giving salary increases, remuneration or privileges.
Further, pamphlets, leaflets, decals, stickers, and other printed materials should not exceed eight and one-half inches in width and 14 inches in length (8.5 in x 14 in).
Posters and streamers, meanwhile, are limited to measurements of 2 feet by 3 feet and 3 feet by 8 feet, respectively (2 x 3 ft and 3 x 8 ft).
The campaign materials are allowed to be attached to common poster areas or in private properties with the consent of the owner.
Candidates are also allowed to spend no more than P5 on voters.
With the assistance of teachers, election hotlines have also been established by the COMELEC to avoid the burning incident of a teacher by a group of armed men in Batangas after refusing to surrender the ballots.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), through its Public Information Office, has identified the places where security will be heightened.
The PNP said about 5,744 places around the country have been designated as election watchlist areas starting April 11, 2018, based on intense political rivalry, the existence of private armed groups and crime gangs, and the proliferation of loose firearms.
The Barangay and SK elections were last conducted in 2013. — Jamil Santos/MDM, GMA News