MAGANES: Non-partisanship and neutrality during election

April 3, 2016 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

Lately, the Commission on Election (Comelec) through its Chair Andres Bautista forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Commission on Civil Service (CSC) to advise government employees of national and local government units, including government controlled corporations, to distance themselves from  campaigning for their favored candidates during the election period.
Government employees who actively participate in the campaign shall be charged with electioneering for which they could be dismissed from government service.
 While the move of the Comelec with CSC is laudable, there are questions that arose from that MOA. Who will monitor the millions of government employees and would they  determine that they are indeed electioneering?
Government employees are electorates too. They, being mostly educated, could be the best opinion makers in their communities. Could they not openly express their views on political issues and tell their neighbors of their preferred candidates particularly on the offered platforms of governance?
 There must be specific areas where government employees could be of help in the electoral process. Instead of feeling fear of being accused of electioneering, they should be encouraged to participate in electoral discussions and talk on specific experiences in their line of work. Elected officials at most are vindictive. When they are already sworn into their offices and positions, the employees under them are the most vulnerable to pressures. Department heads are either “frozen” or transferred to other work, or worse, they are pressured to resign. This has to be stopped and the CSC must look into this kind of practice by politicians.
Another order by the Comelec is for barangay officials to be non-partisan during election campaign. Hmmmm. This is quite a tall order from the Comelec and appeared to have not been aware of the realities of politics in the country. Village officials are in the front lines during campaign. They are the first group that are approached by politicians as they know so well the composition of their constituents.
Village officials are supposedly non-partisan as they don’t belong to any political parties. Non-partisanship is a misnomer. These officials are under the very noses of the municipal mayors. They could be forced to support candidates who are endorsed by their municipal mayors. Otherwise, they will not be supported with projects and programs in their villages. What the Comelec failed to look into are the village officials who are running for political posts whether in the municipalities and provinces. These village officials are not automatically resigned from their elected posts unlike government employees and officials. If they lost the election, they could still assume their positions in villages, thus their non-partisanship has been tainted with suspicions.
Did these realities not reach the knowledge of Comelec officials? How can the Comelec then enforce its order to the village officials? Personally, I suggest that village officials who will run for elective posts and join political parties should resign automatically after filing their candidacies. This will pressure the village officials to be honest-to-goodness non partisan.

But the orders of the Comelec for government employees and officials and village officials relative to political campaigning lack  full teeth and can’t be fully enforced. These orders must be re-examined in order for loopholes to be identified. With this, implementation of the orders will be effective just to ensure a safe, credible and honest election.
The proclamation rally of M&M- gubernatorial candidate Mark O. Cojuangco and vice gubernatorial candidate Mark Roy Q. Macanlalay last March 28 at the Dela Cruz Auditorium in Lingayen was a resounding success. It was attended by the political stalwarts of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Biskeg na Pangasinan who pledged their full support to the Cojuangco-Macanlalay Team.
Those who attended were MECO Chair Amadeo R. Perez Jr., 6th District Rep. Marlyn Primicias Agabas, Abono Partylist Rep. Conrad M. Estrella III, former 3rd District Rep. Rachel “Baby” Arenas who represented her mother 3rd District Rep. Rosemarie “Baby”Arenas and 5th District Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco.
Secretary Antonio “Bebot” Villar Jr. was represented by Sto. Tomas Mayor Timoteo “Dick” Villar Jr., 4th District Rep. Gina De Venecia was represented by 4th District Board Member candidate Gerald Tabadero and 1st District Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste was represented by Alaminos City Mayor Art Celeste.
NPC and Biskeg ng Pangasinan candidates from Board Members, municipal/city mayors, vice mayors and Councilors came in full force to to show their support to M&M.
All of them have good words about the candidacies of Cojuangco and Macanlalay and promised to work hard during the campaign to ensure their victories on May 9 election.
Cojuangco pledged a “Mas Maunlad na Pangasinan” speaking about his development agenda on agriculture, tourism, job generation, investments, social welfare and health services. Macanlalay spoke about his full support to Cojuangco’s development agenda banking on his legislative and executive experiences in Calasiao town.
It was a historical event as it was the first time in the province that big names in politics grouped themselves to endorse and give support to their common candidate-Cojuangco and Macanlalay.
Are we seeing the dawn of a more progressive Pangasinan with new leaders on June 30? Let’s give our support to Cojuangco and Macanlalay including the candidates of NPC and Biskeg na Pangasinan.
(For comments, email me at Visit my blog The Roving Pen at Listen to my radio programs, “Ang Bagong Bayan Po(e)” aired over DZRD Sonshine Radio, 981 KHZ, 8:00-9:00 AM and “On Your Marks, 2nd Edition” aired over DWPR Radio Asenso, 1296 KHZ,10:15-11:15 AM. Both programs are aired Mondays to Fridays).

Entry filed under: News.

MOTORCADE FROM URDANETA CITY TO LINGAYEN   EDITORIAL: Malalakas na lideres ng pulitika, sama-sama para kay M&M

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