BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan slammed the use of public gatherings by aspiring individuals who are seeking election in public office as a venue for early campaigning in obvious violation of existing election laws, rules and regulations.
The pronouncement of the local chief executive was also confirmed by most barangay officials who also raised an uproar over the early campaigning being done by a local political group who are now making their presence in the barangays and are obviously doing early campaigning.
“As incumbent city officials, we are obliged to discuss the various programs and projects of the local government to the different barangay assemblies being done in the city but we are wondering why there is a certain political group that goes around the barangays and do early campaigning activities that obviously affect the integrity of the assemblies being done that is why people are now aware on what kind of officials will they become in the future,” Domogan stressed.
Many barangay officials expressed their disappointment to the incumbent and non-incumbent members of the political group for allegedly interrupting their assemblies simply to introduce the selves and the positions they are interested for in the upcoming May 2019 mid-term elections which should not actually the case because the assemblies were meant for the discussion of prevailing issues in the barangays and the city and not for obvious political purposes.
Domogan said that barangay officials and those who have been attending barangay assemblies know who among us had been actually doing the rounds simply to campaign and even making false representations as the ones who will solve the city’s existing problems as if there are overnight solutions to what the local government is currently encountering in terms of the prevailing issues and concerns.
According to him, the decision of the Commission on Election (Comelec) Baguio field office to launch a multi-sectoral anti-vote buying campaign is timely because of the evident direct and indirect vote buying activities being done by certain aspiring individuals wanting to be voted into public office to help level the playing field for everyone.
Earlier, Comelec Baguio field office head lawyer John Paul Martin warned aspiring individuals wanting to be elected to public office not to be involved in direct and indirect vote buying activities because the poll body is entertaining complaints of vote buying that might affect their candidacy once charges will be filed against them.
Aside from the launching of the multi-sectoral anti-vote buying campaign, the Colemec Baguio field office will also be initiating the signing of a peace covenant among all the candidates for the various local elected positions to ensure the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections for the May 2019 mid-term polls.
Martin said that the primary purpose of the multi-sectoral anti-vote buying campaign is to properly educate the voters on the different modes of vote buying being employed by politicians and legal assistance wherein there will be available forms that will be filled up by complainants on vote buying for the prosecution of the ones involved in such violation.
By Dexter A. See