MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is bracing itself for deluge of reports of violations among national and local candidates in the upcoming midterm elections.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they are not discounting the possibility that Comelec’s field officers would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of candidates at the local level.
“With more than 18,000 positions in contention, you are looking at several thousands of candidates at play. You can tell that within two hours, our personnel will already be overwhelmed,” Jimenez said.
He added: “We are confident that we will be able to handle everything, with assistance from the public by reporting to them any campaign irregularity. The reports from the people are very vital as much as the Comelec needs to observe due process.”
A candidate’s poster must not be larger than two feet by three feet, while streamers for rallies must not exceed three feet by eight feet in length. It should not be place earlier than five days before the event and must be removed 24 hours after.
The campaign period for national candidates (senatorial and party-list bets) is from Feb. 12 to May 11, 2019, while those running for House of Representatives and for regional, provincial, city and municipal posts is from March 29 to May 11, 2019.
Campaigning will be suspended for Maundy Thursday on April 18 and Good Friday on April 19 and will also be banned starting on May 12, the eve of the 2019 midterm elections.
The liquor ban will also take effect starting on May 12, while the gun ban has been in effect since Jan. 13, 2019./PN