Pres. Duterte Calls Out Comelec Over Campaign Rallies Amid Pandemic

Rodrigo Duterte Ask Comelec for Rules to Avoid Crowding on Campaign Rallies

President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Commission on Election (Comelec) for rules to avoid the crowding on campaign rallies amid the pandemic.

During his public address, Duterte urged the Comelec to ensure that the social distance of those who will attend campaign rallies before the 2022 election is adhered to. At the Summit for Democracy, sponsored by US President Joe Biden, Duterte reaffirmed his resolve to ensure peaceful and fair elections next year.

“I’d like to call the attention of the Comelec,” the President said in his regular address to the nation on Monday. “You are the ones supervising the elections. As a matter of fact, you are the one running the show… Could you not just issue a [directive], i-maintain lang ‘yung (just maintain) social distance?”

Duterte Comelec Rallies

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The President then warned of the “risk of recontamination” if the COVID-19 safety measures are not followed throughout the campaign season. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 situation has begun to improve due to increased vaccinations, Duterte reaffirmed his caution against public complacency.

“Ang problema dito ganito, mabuti maraming nabakunahan medyo na that’s a lesser casualty now, but do not tempt the gods. Huwag mo hingin talaga na ikaw humingi sa aabot sa atin kung hahayaan natin na ganito,” said President Duterte.

He went on to say that while campaigns will be allowed in Luneta Park, the COVID-19 protocols must be rigorously followed. The polling organization has set alert-level-based limits for in-person campaigning. However, it will only take effect on February 8, 2022, when the national campaign season begins.

Allowing big crowds for campaign sorties, according to Duterte, might worsen the pandemic scenario, adding that Filipinos should not tempt the Gods despite improving COVID-19 data. Candidates for the 2022 election should use extreme caution and moderation when holding campaign caravans and rallies, according to the President.

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