Local candidates not yet barred from using Pacquiao victory parties to promote themselves — Comelec

March 15, 2010 11:37 pm 

MANILA, March 15 — Local candidates are not yet barred from using victory parties for boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao to promote themselves, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal admitted that they could not stop politicians running for local positions from using the event to promote their candidacies in disguise of congratulating Pacquiao for his latest ring conquest.

The poll official said that because of the Supreme Court ruling, individuals seeking elective positions in the coming May 10 polls "are not yet considered candidates for purposes of premature campaigning and, therefore, they are not yet within the limitations of the law.”

Many politicians are expected to take advantage of promoting their candidacies by congratulating Pacquiao and giving him welcome parties after his victory over Joshua Clottey of Ghana in Arlington, Texas, last Sunday.

A recent SC ruling scrapped the rules on premature campaigning, citing a provision in Republic Act No. 9369, or the Elections Automation Law, stating that “any person who has filed his/her certificate of candidacy (COC) shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of campaign period.”

The campaign period for local candidates officially starts on March 26.

On the other hand, the campaign period for national candidates started last February 9. (PNA)

scs/FGP/utb

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