COMELEC Says Violating Health Protocols During Campaign Activities Considered An Election Offense

Violating health protocols during in-person campaign activities was considered an election offense, according to COMELEC.

COMELEC — The Commission on Elections said that violating health protocols during in-person campaign activities was considered an election offense.

This was based on the COMELEC Resolution No. 10730 that was promulgated last November 17, 2021.

Photo: Logo of COMELEC

The poll body said that it’s necessary to adhere to the health protocols set by authorities.

Any violation of Fair Elections Act and these Rules shall constitute an election offense,” COMELEC said.

The poll body also said that the following safety measures “shall be observed at all times in all activities” including but not limited to:

  • one-meter physical distancing
  • wearing of face mask and face shield
  • proper cough and sneezing etiquette
  • frequent disinfection of hands

In addition, the poll body said that it shall likewise be unlawful for any political candidate, political party, or any person to act in a manner that violated the minimum health and safety protocols and other applicable guidelines prescribed by the COMELEC and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The poll body added that political candidates or political parties must submit an “affidavit of compliance with health protocols” after each of their “in-person” campaign activity.

READ ALSO: COMELEC Issues Rules For Campaigning, “e-Rallies” For 2022 Elections

According to the poll body, the campaign organizing staff shall submit a notarized “Affidavit of Compliance with Health Protocols” to the COMELEC with territorial jurisdiction over the place wherein the in-person campaign activity was conducted within 24 hours after the conclusion of any “in-person” campaign activity.

The poll body also said that any violation of the Fair Elections Act and of the rules stated in the said resolution was “punishable under the first and second paragraph of Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code and other pertinent laws, rules and regulations, whenever applicable”.

The Commission shall, through its duly authorized legal officers, have the power, concurrent with other prosecuting arms of the government, to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses and prosecute the same,” COMELEC said.

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