ANO ANG BAWAL? | Comelec calendar details prohibitions during election period

There are a lot of don'ts during the election period. (Photo: Bernard Testa,
The online news portal of TV5

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has reminded government officials and candidates to be mindful of the prohibited acts in connection with the 2016 elections. The things that are forbidden during the election period are as follows:

JANUARY 10, 2016 to JUNE 8, 2016
The following are prohibited during this period:

1. The transfer or movement of officers and employees in the civil service
2. Bearing, carrying, or transporting firearms or other deadly weapons a.k.a. gun ban
3. The use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates and organization or maintenance of reaction forces, strike forces, or other similar forces
4. The suspension of elective local officials

*For No. 4: The suspension order by the Office of the Ombudsman for local elective officials is exempted as it applies the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”
Candidates could be exempted from the gun ban and the prohibnition on the use of security personnel if they have written authority from the Comelec.

*Additional note: Comelec checkpoints to be manned by the local police will be set up in every city and town to implement the gun ban and prevent election-related violence. Only a visual search of the vehicle is allowed at the checkpoints. The Comelec emphasized: "The search, which is normally permissible, is limited to visual search where the officer simply looks into the vehicle and flashes a flashlight therein without opening the car’s door."

FEBRUARY 9, 2016 to MAY 7, 2016
This is the campaign period for candidates for national positions such as president, vice president, senators, and party lists. However, candidates cannot campaign for two days during the Holy Week: MARCH 24 and MARCH 25.

FEBRUARY 9, 2016 to JUNE 8, 2016
Under the Omnibus Election Code, the giving of donations or gift in cash or in kind, etc.; as well as the appointment or use of special policemen, confidential agents and the like is prohibited during this period.

MARCH 10, 2016 to JUNE 8, 2016    
The prohibition on illegal release of prisoners will take effect during this period.

MARCH 25, 2016 to JUNE 8, 2016
During this period, the following prohibitions are in effect:

1. The government is banned from appointing or hiring new employees, creating or filling up of new positions; promoting or giving of salary increases, remuneration or privilege.
2. The construction of public works, delivery of materials for public works, and issuance of treasury warrant or similar devices for a future undertaking chargeable against public funds.

MARCH 26, 2016 to MAY 7, 2016
Candidates for local positions are allowed to campaign during this period. Technically, they are supposed to start their campaign on March 25. However, since the said date is one of the no-campaign days during the Holy Week, the start of their campaign period was pushed to March 26.

MAY 8, 2016
All forms of campaiging are supposed to end on this day, which is the eve of Election Day.

MAY 8, 2016 to MAY 9, 2016
During this period, the following conditions are in effect:

1. Between the said days, any efforts to woo voters are deemed unlawful. Among these are giving, accepting, free transportation, food or drinks or things of value.
2. The liqour ban will also strictly be observed between these days.

MAY 9, 2016
On Election Day, the following are prohibited:

1. Soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place or within 30 meters thereof.
2. Setting up booths or stalls for the sale, etc., of merchandise or refreshments within a radius of 30 meters from the polling place.
3. Holding fairs, cockfights, boxing, horse races, or any other similar sports within a radius of 30 meters from the polling place. (PNA)