Jimenez reminds candidates not to campaign on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday

March 31, 2010 11:04 pm 

MANILA, March 31 — “Kung wala silang takot sa Comelec, sana may takot naman sila sa Diyos,” this was the reminder of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez on candidates who would like to take advantage of the Holy Week to promote themselves.

Earlier, the poll body issued a stern warning against campaigning on Maundy Thursday (April 1) and Good Friday (April 2).

Jimenez said what is prohibited is the active campaigning where candidates are staging campaign rallies, shaking hands and going door-door to greet the voters.

“Dun naman sa campaigning on Thursday and Friday, rule of thumb what you are trying to prevent is ‘yung active campaigning…’yung lalabas at mangangatok at makikipagkamay sa mga tao, magagawa ng speeches in a public place. These are prohibited,” he explained.

Jimenez said that he sees nothing wrong with people taking pictures with the candidates and candidates can participate in station of the cross, what they do not approve is when the candidate/s stood up on a church bench and starts to proclaim his/her intentions.

“Traditional religious observances are allowed just don’t use it as a platform to campaign,” he said.

Jimenez said that violation of the order is an election offense.

However, the Comelec official said that they expect that some people would still respect the law. “Since two days lang naman ito Thursday and Friday, you don’t really expect a lot of people to take advantage of this.”

Meanwhile, Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said that the Commission en banc will discuss on how they will deal with the alleged wrong supply of ultraviolet (UV) ink on the ballots.

“That has to be discussed by the en banc. I don’t want to preempt the en banc because at this point in time that question it has to be the en banc that will decide,” he said.

Larrazabal noted that the important thing to be considered is that there is a method to verify the UV ink.

“Nakita ko na, personally I was able to run a UV lamp on a ballot, mabilis lang just like if you go to a bank, they check the money. It’s not rocket science. You get the UV lamp, run through the ballots. That’s it,” he explained.

The poll body official added that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine will still authenticate the ballots.

It was reported that the Comelec will be acquiring 76,000 UV lamps that will be used by the teachers or the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to identify if the ballots are authentic.

The UV ink, security markings of Smartmatic-TIM, allegedly lacks the needed “density,” which is the reason it is being rejected by the PCOS machines. (PNA)

DCT/FGP/utb

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