The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Thursday reminded government officials and employees to refrain from participating in partisan political activities.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez and PACC chairman Dante Jimenez made the reminder two days after the start of the campaign period for candidates running for national positions in the May 13 polls.
“What is prohibited particularly to those under the Civil Service Commission (CSC) or members of the government including the other branches of the government, is what we call partisan political activity,” the poll body official said in a joint press conference in Manila.
Jimenez, however noted that government employees are allowed to express their personal opinion.
“They are allowed to say who they will vote but they cannot order their people who are under his department or subordinates to support the candidate chosen by their leader, that is what we are trying to prevent partisan political activity. That is prohibited,” he added.
With this, Jimenez urged the public to report such actions by government employees.
“Document them (partisan actions of government employees). It is important to report such and then we will (forward) it to PACC. Let us work together to make sure proper actions filed,” the poll body official added.
For his part, the PACC head warned all government agencies under the direct supervision and control of the President not to use their resources, such as budget, manpower, equipment, or vehicles in anticipation of the May 13, 2019 elections.
He also appealed to all sectors to report to the Commission and all government agencies all violations of its officials and personnel who will be directly using government agencies to support the candidacy of particular candidates or political parties, including party-lists.
“We will not allow ourselves to be intimated by politicians and other branches of government, the Congress of the Philippines, and other sectors, and further urge the candidates running for public office in the mid-term and future Elections to do their part to understand their responsibility as candidates in various public positions. We will enforce the teeth of the law and impose whatever penalties or punishments are applicable to these candidates who have violated the law,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has called on all agencies under his direct control and supervision, including the military and police, not to use their resources this coming election for partisan political activities.
The directive was also issued in reference to specific election offenses defined under Sec. 261, Article 22 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Prohibited acts cover by the law include vote-buying and vote-selling, intervention of public officers and employees, undue influence, as well as use of public funds, equipment and facilities owned and controlled by the government for election campaign. (PNA)
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