Health protocol violations considered election offenses

    The Commission on Elections (Comelec) have decided that violation of Covid-19 health protocols will be considered election offenses.
    The poll agency has started working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement the election laws.

    METRO MANILA, Philippines — The Comelec is now requiring national candidates for the 2022 polls to submit an affidavit of compliance for every physical campaigning they will arrange. Submission is required within 24 hours after the campaign.

    “We are working with the Comelec on the participation of the PNP in the implementation of the said provision for in-person election activities,” PNP chief General Dionardo Carlos said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Carlos was referring to Section 34 of the Comelec Resolution No. 10730 which contains provisions that bars candidates, political parties, or individuals from providing or receiving free “transportation, food and drinks or anything of value” during campaign meetings.

    Failure to submit the notarized “affidavit of compliance with health protocols” to the nearest Comelec office within 24 hours after any physical campaign would mean non-cooperation, which may be punishable under Republic Act No. 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

    Violation by the candidates of the minimum public health and safety protocols will be considered election offenses.

    “We are requesting every candidate that if they will organize an in-person campaign, they must properly coordinate with the authorities and make sure that there is a crowd control plan in place,” Carlos stressed. (HMP/The MiNT)

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