2022 poll candidates urged to avoid holding sorties

2022 poll candidates urged to avoid holding sorties
Large crowds gather around presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos, son of the country's former dictator, during his visit in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija on December 12, 2022.
Facebook / Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Monday urged candidates for next year’s elections to avoid holding campaign sorties that will result in overcrowding. 

“We are again appealing to officials and candidates to avoid holding gatherings and events that we know will cause overcrowding and might cause infections in the coming days or weeks,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in Filipino.

The DOH made the remark after the visit of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija drew large crowds.

“Christmas is approaching so we hope we can keep the number of cases low so we can have a happy Christmas,” Vergeire said.

Daily cases in the Philippines have declined, with the DOH reporting 543 new coronavirus infections on Monday. 

The Commission on Elections set the campaign period from February 8 to May 7, 2022 for national positions; and from March 25 to May 7, 2022 for members of House of Representatives and local positions. Candidates, however, are already holding activities ahead of the official campaign period.

According to a guideline issued by the Comelec, handshaking, hugging and kissing and other similar activities are strictly prohibited during in-person campaigning as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any form of physical contact during in-person campaigning is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code, which could lead to the disqualification of a candidate to hold public office.

Crowding around candidates and their companions for face-to-face campaigning is also banned as this violates the protocols set by the government for social gathering. — Gaea Katreena Cabico


As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 11, 2022 - 3:05pm

Get the latest updates on the Philippines' preparation for the May 2022 national elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Main image by The STAR/Michael Varcas

January 11, 2022 - 3:05pm

A municipal councilor in Zamboanga del Sur landed in jail for carrying a gun outside of residence in disregard of restrictions set by the Commission on Elections. 

Jovert Dahunan, a coucilor of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur, was nabbed Monday night at a checkpoint by police enforcing the Comelec gun ban.

He was immediately clamped down in a detention facility of the Kumalarang Municipal Police Station. — The STAR/John Unson

January 10, 2022 - 3:38pm

Police at a checkpoint in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay arrested two teens for carrying replica handguns on Sunday.

Implementation of the Commission on Elections gun ban started over the weekend. The ban on carrying or using guns during the election period is meant to curb election-related violence.

Personnel of the 2nd Zamboanga Sibugay Province Mobile Force Company when they flagged down the teens, who were riding a motorycle along the national highway, near dawn on Sunday. 

Police Brig. Gen. Franco Simborio, Police Regional Office 9 (PRO) director, says police noticed a suspicious item tucked in one of the suspects' waist. "The personnel immediately requested the person to remove the item from his waist and it was found out it was a replica of a 1911 caliber .45 pistol," Simborio says.

Since the two could not produce documentation for the replica gun, they were arrested. 

Under a 2013 Philippine National Police, airsoft pistols and rifles need to be registered with the police. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

December 1, 2021 - 2:42pm

Google will pause all electoral and political advertisements in relation to the 2022 national and local elections at the start of the campaign period, the Commission on Elections says.

The campaign period will start on Feb. 8,2022 for national candidates and March 2, 2022 for local candidates.

"Google will not accept election advertisements in the Philippines that are purchased through Google Ads, Display and Video 360, and Shopping platforms that advertisers intend to place on Google, YouTube and partner properties," the poll body says in a statement.

November 29, 2021 - 10:30am

A maximum of 10 voters will only be allowed inside the polling place during the May 9, 2022 elections, the Comelec says.

This is part of the poll body's preventive measures against COVID-19.

More than 10 voters will be allowed for larger polling centers that can accommodate more people. Holding rooms will also be established in adjacent rooms for voters waiting for their turn.

November 9, 2021 - 2:57pm

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte announces on Facebook that she is withdrawing her candidacy for mayor. Her brother Sebastian "Baste" Duterte will replace her.

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