More than 100 thousand joined the mega caravan of presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running-mate Sara Duterte-Carpio along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City recently. (Photo: Philnews.ph)
TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE — In agreement with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the call for measures to guide candidates prior to the start of the election campaign period starting in February next year, Partido Reporma senatorial aspirant Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar has expressed support in urging the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) to issue guidelines on the activities of political parties and their candidates before they start campaigning for the 2022 national and local elections.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año had earlier called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide the guidelines on the activities for candidates before the beginning of the campaign period.
Año’s call came in the wake of the political caravan by supporters of presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, held along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City last Wednesday, December 8, which caused heavy traffic after it drew a huge crowd, and health protocols such as physical distancing were not properly observed.
The interior and local government secretary urged the Comelec to provide the PNP with definite instructions regarding political rallies or caravans so as to avoid incidents such as traffic congestion and overcrowding that may trigger a super spreader event.
“The campaign period for both local and national candidates is still early next year and there have been caravans being done anywhere in the country. Yes, we can provide security but the outlined guidelines will prompt us to act on specific actions,” PNP chief Lieutenant General Dionardo Carlos stated in reaction to the call.
Carlos added that it is important for the PNP to note what activities are allowed and prohibited in order to ensure security and the conduct of any activity such as rallies and caravans are peaceful and orderly while following the minimum health safety protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
“So far, the police force and local government units have focused on implementing minimum public health standards,” he noted.
For his part, Eleazar, who was succeeded by Carlos as PNP chief, lauded the efforts of his successor despite the apparent problems that appeared during the mega caravan where many of those who participated forgot to follow protocols on the proper wearing of face masks and practice of physical distancing.
“Mahirap gawin dahil sa dami ng mga dumalo sa caravan pero kahit mahirap ito, kailangan nating sundin ang mga protocol dahil ang kaligtasan natin ang nakasalalay dito kaya nararapat lamang na magkaroon ng guidelines para matiyak nating magiging maayos at ligtas ang susunod na mga rally at pagtitipun-tipon ng mga tagasuprta ng lahat ng mga kandidato,” he pointed out. (ai/mtvn)