Gov’t workers: No poll meddling

DUTERTE’S MOST TRUSTED GETS ENDORSEMENT—Former Sec. Bong Go (second from left) received the endorsement in Davao city by Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, Councilors Michael Bandal, Karissa Faye Tolentino-Maxino and Barangay Bagacay Kagawad Edga Lentorio Jr. at the conclusion of the seminar workshop of the city’s barangay officials there. The officers and members of the Liga ng mga Barangay,who went to Davao City for benchmarking of the highly urbanized city’s best practices in peace and order, gender and development and disaster risk reduction management, also assured Go of their support in the fight against graft and corruption and illegal drugs.

All government officials and employees are strictly reminded not to “engage directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.”

But can they help it? How about those who joined government because of political backings? Will they be just election observers in the sidelines?

However, the prohibition exempts social media functions such as “liking, commenting, sharing and re-posting or following a candidate’s or party’s account, unless these are resorted as a means to solicit support for or against a candidate or party during the campaign period.”

In short social media reportage is still part of freedom of expression with enticing others to agree or not.

Based on the Joint COMELEC-CSC Advisory on electioneering and partisan political activities government workers are prohibited from performing acts to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or parties to public office which includes the forming organizations or clubs, holding political caucuses or rallies, making speeches or interviews; publishing and displaying campaign materials and campaigning for or against any candidate.

Other prohibited acts include the following: wearing of campaign paraphernalia bearing the names of candidates and political party; being a poll watcher during elections; consistent presence in rallies or caucuses; giving personal financial or monetary contributions, supplies, equipment and materials for the benefit of a candidate and or political party and utilizing government resources such as personnel, time and properties for political purposes.

The Omnibus Election Code penalizes as election offenses the electioneering and partisan political activities committed by government employees with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than 6 years and shall not be subjected to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage.”