By Gillian M. Cortez
THE Commission on Elections won’t disqualify candidates included in a narco-list released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) but is reminding every election hopeful to follow campaign rules seriously.
In a press conference Friday as the campaign period for the May 14 barangay and Sangguinang Kabataan elections was underway, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body cannot disqualify a candidate for being in the narco-list, which only served as “voter information,” he noted.
Disqualification due to drug charges could only be fulfilled if the candidate is tried in court, Mr. Jimenez said.
Asked about the Department of Interior and Local Government’s request for the Comelec to disqualify candidates on the narco-list, Mr. Jimenez simply replied “No.”
He emphasized, however, that violation of election rules are grounds for disqualification, as he cited for instance rules on posters and streamers.
“Streamers ay allowed lamang kapag meron kang rally and pagkatapos na ang rally dapat tanggal agad yan,” Mr. Jimenez said. (Streamers are only allowed during rallies and after the rally is finished, the streamers should be removed immediately.)
Mr. Jimenez also said the poll body is on the lookout for videos “producing rich content” and “promoted ads.”
“That’s where cost implication will arise,” he said regarding monitoring campaign spending on social media.
Other rules that candidates should comply are in Comelec Resolution No. 10294 or the Fair Elections Act.