DILG warns vs use of gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties in cam­paign­ing

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

THE De­part­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) has or­dered lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGU) to clear all gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties, prop­er­ties and ve­hi­cles from any cam­paign ma­te­ri­als.

Cit­ing Sec­tion 261 of the Om­nibus Elec­tion Code, DILG Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo Año said the use of pub­lic funds, money de­posited in trust, equip­ment, fa­cil­i­ties owned or con­trolled by gov­ern­ment for any elec­tion cam­paign or any par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is pro­hib­ited.

“We will not al­low can­di­dates to use gov­ern­ment prop­er­ties as a plat­form for their elec­tion cam­paign. It’s clearly pro­hib­ited. Gov­ern­ment build­ings, prop­er­ties, ve­hi­cles, and equip­ment are for of­fi­cial use only and may not be used as venues or tools for par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity,” he said.

Año said LGUs that will fail to com­ply with elec­tion pro­hi­bi­tions will im­me­di­ately be re­ported to the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec).

DILG As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary and spokesper­son Jonathan Malaya urged the pub­lic to take a pic­ture of the cam­paign ma­te­rial to­gether with a copy of the day’s news­pa­per and im­me­di­ately send it to the DILG or the Com­elec.

“The Com­elec has promised to act on th­ese vi­o­la­tions im­me­di­ately. There are Com­elec elec­tion of­fi­cers in most towns in the coun­try. Let us help Com­elec in en­sur­ing a peace­ful and hon­est elec­tion by re­port­ing vi­o­la­tions to their field of­fices,” he sai d.

Malaya also noted that the use of gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties, prop­er­ties and ve­hi­cles for cam­paign­ing events is prohi bi t ed.

He said LGU of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees are also banned from pro­mot­ing or en­dors­ing can­di­dates of the up­com­ing elec­tions and must ab­stain from en­gag­ing in par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­cept lo­cal elec­tive of­fi­cials who, by the po­lit­i­cal na­ture of their po­si­tion, are ex­empted from the ban.

“Civil ser­vice per­son­nel are tasked to serve our coun­try with in­tegrity and neu­tral­ity. It’s none of our busi­ness to in­flu­ence pub­lic opin­ion on poll bets. Let’s just do our jobs and re­spect the peo­ple’s abil­ity to make in­formed de­ci­sions dur­ing the May elec­tions,” he said.

On Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 14, the Com­elec has or­dered 34 elec­tion can­di­dates to take down their il­le­gal posters as the of­fi­cial cam­paign pe­riod has yet to start on March 30 for lo­cal elec­tion can­di­dates and those vy­ing for a spot at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. (Third Anne Per­alta-Malonzo/ SunS­tar Philippines)

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