Guevarra warns prosecutors against electioneering
File photo shows Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra in a press conference at the Department of Justice office in Padre Faura, Manila.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File

Guevarra warns prosecutors against electioneering

( - February 27, 2019 - 5:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reminded government prosecutors to remain impartial in the discharge of their duties in the coming elections.

On Wednesday, the justice chief issued a department circular on the “Prohibition against electioneering and partisan political activities” to the National Prosecution Service.

The NPS is an attached agency of the Department of Justice.

“No less than the 1987 Constitution provides that officers or employees in the civil service (including members of the NPS) are strictly prohibited from engaging ‘directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign,” Guevarra said in the circular.

The justice chief said the directive was also prescribed under Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987, the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, Omnibus Election Code and other laws.

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete, also DOJ's spokesperson, explained that NPS members serve as provincial, district, city and municipal boards of canvassers.

"BOCs canvass the votes received by each candidate and proclaim election winners on the basis of votes," Perete added.

“Please be reminded that electioneering or engaging in partisan activities by one holding a non-political office is a punishable offense,” he added.

Guevarra stressed that any violation found would be dealt with strictly.

The campaign season for the national elections, covering the lower and upper house of the Congress, started on February 12.

Campaign season for local candidates, meanwhile, would begin on March 29. — Kristine Joy Patag

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