THE government insists that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cannot investigate and sanction those politicians who use the government’s vaccination drive as part of their premature campaigning efforts.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, said Comelec does not have jurisdiction over these matters since those accused of early campaigning have not even filed their certificates of candidacy.
Poll watchdog Kontradaya over the weekend called on the Comelec to look into the “underhanded ways” that politicians promote themselves in the immunization drive, arguing this is “clearly a case of premature campaigning.”
“Wala pong hurisdiksyon ang Comelec unless campaign period na. Hindi ko po alam kung gustong gawin ng Comelec ‘yan. Pero gustuhin man nila o hindi, ang pagkakaalam ko sa batas, ‘pag hindi pa campaign period, wala pang hurisdiksyon ang Comelec to implement our election laws,” Roque told reporters.
Kontradaya earlier told the Comelec not to be too technical in declining to look into what the group claimed as an obvious intent, in apparent reference to the huge tarpaulins and billboards – which had their names and photos prominently displayed — conspicuously found in major thoroughfares and sprawling in densely-populated areas.
“I think the statement po is bereft of merit,” said Roque, who noted that no one has filed certificates of candidacy for the 2022 polls.
Sought to comment if he ever felt appalled by Kontradaya’s statements, Roque, who has been hopping one place after another across the archipelago for press briefings he usually conducts in his office, said “Certainly not.”
“I am spokesperson not just for the President, but also for IATF (inter-agency task Force on COVID-19), and I consider my role as spokesperson to be crucial in promoting vaccine confidence,” he said.