General Admission

Isn’t our Comelec biased all this time? 

By Al S. Mendoza

HERE we go again.

Rules to govern the conduct of campaigning are to be finally enforced, implemented, shortly.

To be exact, the implementation officially starts February 12.

That’s for those running for senator.

The rules for the candidates for governor, congressman, mayor and down the line take effect next month.

Let’s single out the major regulations.  Applicable to all.

Posters and tarpaulins are to be placed only in public areas designated by the Comelec (Commission on Elections).

Other places not covered by the Comelec ruling are private properties—but with consent of the owner/s.

Sizes of campaign materials—tarps, leaflets, etc.—must conform with Comelec specs.

Donations to candidates, whether in kind or cash, must be backed up by receipts, documents and legal papers like cedula numbers, if not TINs (tax identification number).

For the record, my TIN has been given away to three candidates thus far.

There is a limit to how much a candidate can spend for every voter.

Now to the meat of this column.

I do not exactly like many of the rules—if not all of them—being imposed by the Comelec every time an election is with us.

Why limit sizes of campaign materials?

If a candidate wants big tarpaulins, why stop him?

It’s his money.

To level the playing field you say because the poor candidate cannot match the rich candidate’s budget?

Baloney.  You don’t have the wherewithals, why run at all?

Why limit a candidate’s budget for a voter being wooed?

It’s his money.

To level the playing field again as the poor candidate can never out-budget his rich rival?

Baloney.  You are poor, why dare challenge the moneyed?

Politics is not for the poor.  Never.

Why limit the candidate’s budget for broadcast spins?

It’s his money.

The poor bet can never match his rival’s treasure chest for radio jingles and television ads.

The poor must avoid politics.  It’s not his cup of tea.

For a change, why not the Comelec make rules on how to vote wisely instead?

Instead of addressing its concerns on the candidates, why not the voters instead?

I am, therefore, tempted to say that the Comelec has been training its sight on the wrong target all this time.

About time our Congress reviewed the Comelec platform.

For, haven’t you noticed?

With its election rules, isn’t the Comelec being biased—a mortal sin for the one tasked to be neutral at all times?

The Comelec, inadvertently or otherwise, has been siding all these years with the poor candidates.

By protecting the poorness of a candidate, the Comelec has, in effect, been throwing its support behind our non-elite in society.

In short, by being pro-poor, the Comelec has been the No. 1 election lawbreaker for the longest time.

What do you think?

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