Photo courtesy of panaynewsphilippines.com
National Election is just around the corner and yes, campaign posters are alive in every wall, electric pole, street signs, fences, sidewalks, highways, cars, tricycles and more.
But, from the most ridiculous campaign slogans and ads, down to the motorcades, the candidates don’t know they’re already violating the rules because they’re already campaigning while the campaign period hasn’t started yet. Moreover, the country is sick of:
1. Billions worth of campaign funds
Candidates, especially the presidential ones have used a very significant amount of money for campaign paraphernalia, TV and radio placements, and rallies all throughout the country. That made Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, presidential candidate under People’s Reform Party saying “Bilyum-bilyon na ang nagagastos ng mga kandidatong ito. Paano kaya nila maibabalik ang perang iyon?” (If I’m not mistaken). She has spent nothing on her campaigns according to the latest data, compared to the other candidate’s 8-12 digit cost of campaign spending.
2. Premature campaigning
Many candidates especially the local ones have started campaigning before last year ends, and yes it is evident right here in our city and it’s very cringe-worthy to be honest. At the first place they should be fined or disqualified for violating the COMELEC rules. Sadly, we haven’t seen any action. National campaign started last February 20, and local campaign started last March 25, but because it was Good Friday on that date, campaigns during that day were banned.
3. Use of government-owned and expensive vehicles for campaigning
Other presidential bets (no need to mention them, they know who they are) have used military vehicles, choppers, private planes and other expensive vehicles to reach out to people in select areas nationwide. It is very disappointing on my part that they need to use those vehicles just to campaign for their candidacy and I wonder how will they repay those once they’re now leading the country.
4. From campaign posters to left-out disposables
It is very sad that those large campaign posters will just turn into undisposed garbage few months after the elections. They’re just contributing to the country’s daily waste, thus significantly affecting every provinces and cities’ surroundings.
5. Lack of preparation and implementation of policies
With still, no assurance on the PCOS machines’ ability to print receipts for voter transparency, which is being upheld by Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon; the glitches in printing the ballots, and delays on the arrival of the machines. The COMELEC, this year has suggested to move the election date but talks still continue and still, we’re clueless on what will happen next so we’ll stay tuned. Aside from that, election-related violence is still happening until now and candidates are still free on early campaigning and the inevitable vote buying and other illegal activities. The law is there, the implementation isn’t present.
Endpoint: There should be a stricter implementation of election and campaign rules for the assurance of clean, transparent, and secure elections so everyone’s right to vote isn’t compromised.