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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Local candidates have 43 days to campaign 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 06, 2013 (PIA) –Local candidates will have lesser than 45 days period to do the campaign works. 

Bohol Commission on Elections (Comelec) Officer in Charge Atty. Leonil Marco Castillano admitted this at the Kapihan sa PIA, which tackled the election calendar and the possible campaign violations that may be reported to the poll body’s complaint portal. 

As per COMELEC resolution 9385, March 29 marks the beginning of the campaign for local candidates just as the national elective positions from senate to congressional seats have reached halfway of the 90 days allocated for their campaign. 

Local candidates are allocated 45 days of campaigning, Comelec said, but with elections set May 13, 2013, there might not be 45 days of campaign left. 

If you count 45 days from May 13, Atty. Eliseo Labaria said you will get to March 29. 

But March 29, which is supposed to be the start of the campaign period for local candidates, is Good Friday and the Comelec has prohibited campaigns for that day. 

Section 5 of Republic Act 7166 provides that, in the preparation of the election calendar, the Commission may exclude the day before the day of the election itself, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. 
Incidentally, March 29 is a Good Friday and the day before elections is already a day excluded in the campaign period. 

This then makes only 2 days in March, 30 in April and 11 days in May available for candidates for Members of the House of Representatives, elective provincial, city and municipal officials some 43 days to try to engage the voters to root for them. 

In fact, the Comelec, which has found a new social media portal in #SumbongKo has encouraged netizens to report violations on the campaign rules. 

Netizens who may have found violations can document them by pictures and upload them in twitter using the hast tag #sumbongKo. 

Any election campaign or partisan political activity for or against any candidate outside of the campaign period herein provided is prohibited and shall be considered as an election offense punishable under Section 263 and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code. (30/gg)

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