DILG urges poll bets to observe rules, and lead by example

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reminded candidates in the May 9 elections comply with health protocols and lead by example.

The agency has also called on candidates to practice self-policing, and “lead the way in observing the law to make their supporters follow them,’’ DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a Laging Handa briefing.

To ensure that campaign sorties don’t become super-spreader events, Malaya said it is the “collective responsibility” of the public and the political groups to adhere to lawful election campaign activities, stressing that the police and the local government units (LGUs) cannot keep a close watch on all the campaign activities of candidates round the clock.

Malaya said guarding against super-spreader events in the country should be a collective responsibility of the candidates, their supporters, their political parties, and the public and of course including the DILG, PNP, and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).’’

He also said the DILG has “prepared long and hard” to enforce the campaign guidelines set by the Commission on Elections, and the PNP has been oriented and will continuously be briefed on “allowable and not allowable’’ election campaign activities.

Malaya confirmed that the DILG field officials are also being trained to keep them abreast with the guidelines stipulated in Comelec Resolution 10732, which sets campaign rules linked to the existing alert level systems.

Violation of certain rules, he added, could earn them penalties of not less than one month or not more than six months of imprisonment or fines of between P20,000 and P60,000 depending on the discretion of the court.

It will be good for people to read what is in RA 10732 since this is where the guidelines for the conduct of election-related activities amid the continuous threat of Covid-19 are stated,’’ he advised.