LEGAZPI CITY, 27Sept2013 (PNA)- Election regulations, especially the gun ban, start taking effect September 28, the beginning of the 45-day election period for the October 28 barangay polls, a public reminder issued by the Commission on Elections Bicol regional office here on Friday said.
Comelec Regional Director Romeo Fortes said the public as well as prospective candidates should abide by the regulations set in relation to the election period to avoid legal prosecutions.
The period starts on Sept. 28 and ends on Nove 12, and during this time frame, Fortes said issuance of appointments, promotions, creation of new positions or giving of salary increases in government offices, agencies or instrumentalities are prohibited.
Among the other forbidden acts are alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; illegal release of prisoners; raising of funds through dances, lotteries and cockfights, among other activities; organizing or maintaining reaction/strike forces or similar forces; and transfer and detail of officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers.
Suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer and use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates whether or not such bodyguards are regular members or officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or other government law enforcement agencies are also prohibited.
On the ban on carrying of firearms and other forms of deadly weapons, including unauthorized wearing of police or military uniforms, Fortes said the PNP and AFP are deputized by the Comelec to conduct checkpoints along highways and other strategic locations based on guidelines set by the poll body.
The gun ban does not exempt licensed firearms from being carried outside residences notwithstanding if they are holders of permits-to-carry.
Filing of certificates of candidacy is set on Oct. 15-17, after which the 15-day campaign period starts.
During the campaign period, Fortes said, making any donation or gift in cash or in kind that could look like an act of vote-buying is prohibited as well as the implementation of public projects like construction and maintenance of provincial, city, municipal or barangay-funded roads and bridges.
Use of armored vehicles, water or air craft and appointing or using special policemen, confidential agents or similar personnel are also disallowed, he said.
All these prohibitions, Fortes added, are to ensure the honest, credible, orderly and peaceful conduct of the electoral exercise.
The Oct. 28 elections, insofar as Bicol is concerned, will take place in all the region’s 3,471 barangays covered by 107 municipalities, seven cities and six provinces involving a total of 24,297 elective barangay posts and about three million registered voters. (PNA)