Restrictions set for the 2022 campaign period were meant to ensure the health and safety of the public, according to COMELEC.
COMELEC — The Commission on Elections said on Monday that the rules and guidelines it has set for the 2022 campaign period were meant to ensure the health and safety of the public.
COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez issued the reminder as he revealed that there had been complaints about the campaign restrictions which prohibited kisses, handshakes, hugs, and selfies.
“We would like to remind everyone that this is for everyone’s safety. This is not for the benefit of politicians, certainly, this is not for the Comelec’s health,” Jimenez said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel. “This is for everyone’s good and again these are common sense applications of a social distancing regime that we’re under right now.”
However, Jimenez acknowledged that the complaints were made in light of how some politicians were currently allowed to go around and distribute money.
According to Jimenez, early reactions to the guidelines were “coming in trickles” from politicians and even the public, and the polling body will respond to the same in due time.
Jimenez also said that those guidelines were still to be implemented at the start of the campaign period in February 2022.
“Unfortunately this is the law that we have, this is the legal environment that we are in,” Jimenez said. “There’s a huge loophole in the law so we’re just gonna have to power through it.”
Last Thursday, the poll body released a set of guidelines for the conduct of campaign rallies, meetings, caucuses, conventions, and miting de avance, as well as caravans and motorcades for the 2022 elections.
Under the COMELEC resolution’s general provisions, the political candidates and their campaign support staff were considered as APOR (Authorized Persons Outside of Residence) “regardless of alert level system and vaccination status”.
Those with underlying conditions including pregnant women and those who were above 65 and below 18 years old will not be allowed to join in campaign activities.