By Chito Chavez
Quezon City personnel were warned by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to refrain from engaging in “electioneering and partisan political activities” as the campaign for the May 13, 2019 mid-term polls heats up.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez clarified that while government employees are allowed to voice their right to political expression, he cautioned them “from outright electioneering’’.
He noted outright partisan election-related activities listed in the CSC Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 30, s. 2009 include:
•Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees, or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate;
•Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate;
•Making speeches, announcements or commentaries, or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office;
•Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate;
•Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges, or support for or against a candidate;
•Being a delegate to any political convention, or a member of any political committee or directorate. Or an officer of any political club or other similar political organizations;
•Receiving any contributions for political purposes, either directly or indirectly; and
•Becoming publicly identified with the success or failure of any candidate/s or party/ies.
Also Section 55 of the Executive Order 292, or the Administrative Code of 1987, states that “No officer or employee in the Civil Service including members of the Armed Forces, shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to vote nor shall he use his official authority or influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or body.”
“Ang pagdalo sa isang political gathering ay bahagi ng right of free speech (Joining political gatherings is part to the right of free speech). At sinasabi natin (We say that), even civil servants are not really deprived of the right to political expression,” Jimenez said.
Before they became public servants, Jimenez said they first are citizens and voters of the country.
Jimenez’s clarification was made after the Quezon City Public Affairs Service and Information Office (PAISO) conferred with the Comelec official to warn the city’s personnel of the election related restrictions. #MatalinongBoto2019