EDITORIAL - Less talk but more action needed

The Freeman

The Comelec is warning government employees against online campaigning in connection with the May 9 elections. This is apart from direct campaigning by other means. And it is apart from the many others prohibitions that the poll body has already announced. At the rate the Comelec is issuing warnings, people cannot be blamed if they start to wonder if the poll body even has the means, much less the resolve, to enforce its prohibitions.

To be sure, the Comelec can deputize all law enforcement units it deems necessary to carry out its regulations. But that does not mean these agencies will drop all of their main responsibilities in order to do the Comelec's bidding. They have work to do, so to speak. The Comelec is just adding to their load. And with so many potential and actual violators to go after, it is difficult to make sense of all these warnings.

The Comelec is overextending itself with all these warnings. Not that it should not carry out its own rules and regulations. But it does not look good for the Comelec to come out every now and then with a warning against this or that prohibited act. The better thing for the Comelec to do is to come out once and for all with a list of all the prohibitions and cease making any further reminders.

It is up to the potential and actual violators to be on the lookout. In other words, let the Comelec and its deputized agencies proceed with their crackdown in earnest and without the fanfare. The Comelec cannot keep on going to the media to make noise and then not having anything to show for it. It is better to make noise later, with ample proof of real action taken.

If it continues on its present tack of issuing warnings piecemeal, the Comelec will eventually appear like a streetcorner salesman pandering cheap throwaways loudly without actually saying anything. It will all amount to nothing but posturing. That has always been the problem with trying to make appearances. It is seldom backed with substance.

What a great impact it would instead create if, instead of constant press releases, the Comelec will suddenly call for a press conference to announce the filing of charges against any number of actual campaign regulation violators. That would have been the day. That would have earned for the Comelec real honest to goodness respect and credibility.

But this constant issuing of warnings against this or that campaign violation is not taking the Comelec anywhere with its regulations. It is not taking the poll body anywhere on the matter of respect and credibility. All it will ever earn will be snide remarks and disdain, about being only good in talking but never about enforcing.

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