Vice President Leni Robredo said she supports the plea of the Comelec to restore the provision in the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, which prohibits campaigning long before the election period sets in.
Office of the Vice President
Robredo supports Comelec’s call vs premature campaigning
(philstar.com) - November 7, 2018 - 2:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday urged the Congress to heed the call of the Commission on Elections to immediately pass bills reviving prohibition of premature campaigning by political candidates.

In a statement, Robredo said she supports the plea of the Comelec to restore the provision in the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, which prohibits campaigning long before the election period sets in.

She stressed the Supreme Court decision in 2009, which ruled that campaigning before the prescribed campaign period was no longer an offense, led to numerous electioneering even a year before the actual polls.

“Ang pagpigil muli sa maagang pangangampanya ay kailangan para maging patas ang pagtakbo (Preventing instances of early campaigning is necessary for a fairer campaign among candidates),” the vice president said.

Last week, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez issued an appeal to the Congress to “pass the premature campaigning amendment [already]” after the poll body received reports of individuals who have filed certificates of candidacy engaging in campaigning several months before the start of the campaign period.

Under Republic Act 9369, a person seeking elective position is considered a candidate only once the campaign period commences.

Criminalize premature campaigning

The Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation, in its committee report filed October 18, recommended the “criminalization” of premature campaigning by political candidates.

“A person shall be considered a candidate the moment he files his certificate of candidacy within the period provided by the Commission on Elections,” the report of Senate Bill 2064 said.

With this, any form of partisan political activity by a candidate prior to the filing of COC or way before the start of the official campaign period will be considered “premature campaigning” and therefore unlawful. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

LENI ROBREDO PREMATURE CAMPAIGNING
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