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Comelec keen on enforcing ban on premature campaign in 2025 polls

MANILA: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to implement a ban on premature campaigning in the May 2025 midterm polls.

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia, in a statement Tuesday, said they would impose the ban on early campaigning activities against candidates who have already filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs).

Garcia said this move is part of the poll body’s constitutional duty to enforce and administer election laws.

“When they file their COCs in October, they should all be considered as candidates already,” the poll body chief added.

Under the Poll Automation Law, ‘any person who files his certificate of candidacy shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period’, and ‘unlawful acts applicable to a candidate shall be in effect only upon the start of the campaign period”.

In 2009, the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the provision in the case of Peñera vs. COMELEC, which paved the way for the removal of premature campaigning as an election offense.

he Commission will proceed as is with our plan. In case we are prevented by the Supreme Court if someone files a petition questioning our action, we will respect that. But what is important is the Comelec is taking action,” said Garcia.

In the 2023 BSKE, the poll body implemented the ban where it had issued show cause orders to 7,500 bets due to premature campaigning.

Of this number, a total of 253 winning candidates were not proclaimed while their cases remain pending.

Source: Philippines News Agency