MANILA, Philippines — A total of 174 show cause orders against candidates for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSKE) elections who were allegedly caught campaigning prematurely are already pending, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
As of September 13, Comelec data showed that 174 candidates – 69 barangay candidates and 105 SK candidates – are expected to receive show cause orders as part of the election body’s efforts against premature campaigning.
According to Comelec Chairman George Garcia, these candidates will be allowed to answer their call and explain their views to determine whether or not the election body will file charges against them.
“This is a proof of cause, partly in the investigative process and in the entire investigative process that you call this due process now in the Hindi case file,” Garcia said in a conference press release Wednesday.
(Even though this is just an order to show cause, part of the fact-finding process is to give applicants the opportunity to respond to our appeal and undergo due process. We do not want to file immediately a file without studying it in more depth.)
As early as July, the Comelec warned BSKE candidates against premature campaigning, which involves hanging posters and distributing flyers ahead of the October 19 campaign period.
Article 80 of the Omnibus Electoral Code states that “it is illegal for any person, whether or not he or she is a voter or candidate, or for any party or association of persons, to engage in electoral campaigning or political activity partisan, except during the campaign. period.”
The electoral body reiterated that premature campaigning would also be considered an electoral offense and that a candidate who fails to take this into account would be liable for violations of the electoral code.
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