Comelec launches task force vs. vote buying

Marje Pelayo   •   May 9, 2019   •   2353

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has intensified its drive against vote buying with the launch of Task Force Kontra Bigay.

At the launching event on Wednesday (May 8), Comelec Commissioner Al A. Parreño said the task force was created for the purpose of “investigating and prosecuting vote buying cases” throughout the period of the elections.

Task Force Kontra Bigay will expedite the process of investigating any form of vote buying in the country.

Joining the Comelec in the Task Force are members of the Philippine National Police (PNP); Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

The poll body will provide a complaint form to ensure proper documentation of the cases of vote buying filed against any candidate including his or her cohorts.

“Hindi po madali ang prosekusyon nito. That’s why we created this task force so that we can provide our public with the necessary information kung gusto nila magsampa ng kaso,” explained DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya

The PNP clarified, however, that anyone caught in the act of vote buying will not be immediately arrested.

“They can be invited for clarifications and questioning at the headquarters,” noted Police Brig. General Rey Lyndon Lawas, the PNP Deputy Director for Operations. – (with details from Aiko Miguel) Marje Pelayo

Comelec to hold nationwide mock elections before year ends

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to conduct a nationwide mock election on December 29, 2021 as part of the poll body’s preparations for the 2022 national and local elections.

According to Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teopisto Elnas, Jr., mock elections will be done in Metro Manila and six other provinces.

In Luzon, it shall be conducted in the provinces of Isabela and Albay. In the Visayas, it shall be held in the Negros Oriental and Leyte; while in Mindanao, the mock elections will be conducted in Davao del Sur.

In Metro Manila, the selected cities for the mock elections are Pateros, Taguig, and Pasay; while in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, it will be conducted in Maguindanao province.

In total, the mock elections will be done in 34 barangays nationwide and will target 4,800 registered voters.

Comelec spokesperson, Director James Jimenez, said the commission will meet with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on December 4.

“To discuss the security preparations for the mock elections. Medyo ano kasi malaki yong mock elections, the mock elections will involve real voters and a real board of election inspectors. So there is a lot of concern about safety and security,” he said.

Jimenez added that the IATF is welcome to give its inputs on how the mock elections must be done.

“Hindi pa kasi final we’re just starting to prepare for it but it will be nationwide so that’s mean that it will have a location in Luzon, Visayas,and Mindanao,” Jimenez said. —/mbmf

Comelec releases disclaimer notice on 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH

Maris Federez   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday (November 25) released a disclaimer notice on 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH that claimed to be affiliated with the poll body.

“Please note that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) are not in any way connected or affiliated with 1 VOTE PH, and that it is not an accredited citizens’ arm or civil society partner of the Comelec,” the poll body warned in a statement.

Comelec said 1 VOTE PH/ONE VOTE PH has been introducing itself as a non-profit/community organization on Facebook and in email blasts to various government agencies.

The poll body also said the group was claiming that it has a “nationwide campaign for educating the public regarding voter registration, voting, electoral reform and other issues concerning our rights to vote and about the general election.”

“The group also recently announced that they will be setting up its ‘Main Command Center’ with ‘Hotline Numbers and Toll-Free Numbers’ for local overseas Filipino voters,” Comelec added.

“Kindly disregard and/or treat with caution all communications from 1 VOTE PH purporting or claiming to be undertaken with the knowledge or consent of, or in partnership or cooperation with the Comelec,” the poll body advised the public.

In addition to 1 VOTE PH / ONE VOTE PH, the group also goes by the following names/aliases on Facebook:

  • One Vote PH Volunteers
  • Magpa Rehistro Ka
  • Keystrat Campaign Hub or Key Strategy Campaign Hub Co.
  • Keynote Leaders or “I Trust Keynote Leaders”
  • One Philippines or “I Trust One Philippines”
  • Poll Watchers PH
  • Bantay Boto PH or “I Trust Bantay Boto PH”
  • Election 2022 or “I Trust Election 2022”
  • Halalan 2022 or “I Trust Halalan 2022”
  • Vote Philippines 2022
  • Boto Pilipinas 2022
  • Philippine Business Club or Philippine Business Club Worldwide
  • Astig Kabataan Pinoy – Youth Voters

The Commission on Elections further advised overseas Filipinos to take extra precautions in their dealings with organizations claiming to be the agency’s partners.

The poll body further instructed the public to contact the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) through the following official communication channels, in case they are in doubt:

  • Facebook page: https://facebook.com/overseasvotingph
  • Email address: overseasvoting@comelec.gov.ph

 

COMELEC issues rules for online campaigning, rallies for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on Thursday the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the conduct of online campaigning and rallies as an alternative to physical sorties in line with the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.

The IRR, promulgated as COMELEC Resolution No. 10730, will govern the implementation of Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act for next year’s elections slated on May 9.

The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senator, and party-list groups will be on February 8 to May 7 while candidates for members of the House of Representatives, and local posts are allowed to campaign from March 25 to May 7.

The IRR states that the COMELEC shall provide a platform for free livestreaming of e-rallies of national candidates.

“E-rally airtime shall be allotted to each presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidate, as well as to each party-list organization participating in the 2022 national and local candidates,” resolution read.

“Live streaming of e-rallies shall be conducted every night, beginning February 8, 2022, on the official social media channels of the COMELEC,” it added.

At the start of the election period, the poll body said a schedule of e-rally time slots will be released.

“There shall be three presidential and three vice presidential 10-minute slots every night. In addition, there shall be 5 senatorial 3-minute slots; and 10 PL (party-list) 3-minute slots, per night,” it said.

The slots shall be assigned at random, based on the results of televised raffle of slots that will take place on January 8, 2022.

The e-rally livestreams shall be posted on the COMELEC’s official social media pages, the commission said.

For online campaigning, the poll body said Information contained in online campaign propaganda shall be truthful and not misleading, nor shall it tend to unjustifiably cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process.

The resolution defines the use of the internet to distribute campaign propaganda. This includes text-only posts on social media, pictures, audio clips, and video clips, regardless of duration, and all combinations of such formats.

A copy of the resolution containing the implementing rules and regulations may be viewed here.

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