Inquirer.net : Comelec urged to ban entertainment portion, celebs in 2022 poll campaigns

News & Interviews
9 September 2021

By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider prohibiting intermission numbers or inviting celebrities who are not relevant to the candidates’ platforms during the campaign period for the 2022 national elections.

Iloilo Rep. Lorenz Defensor made the pitch Thursday, saying such rules could help avoid overcrowding and transmission of COVID-19.

“Baka pwede din ma-consider— karamihan po ng mga caucus o rally ng mga kandidato, meron at merong minsan pinakanta, pinapasayaw, minsan may nagdadala pa po ng artista,” Defensor said during the hearing of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms.

(Maybe they can consider this because in many rallies of candidates, there are intermission numbers of singers, dancers, sometimes the candidates bring celebrities with them.)

“’Pag dumating si Coco Martin, siguradong ang 10 percent ng venue [hindi masusunod], may dadaan at dadaan po dyan,” he added.

(If Coco Martin arrives, for sure the 10 percent occupancy rule in the venue will not be followed because people will be there.)

Defensor said his proposal can be included in Comelec’s guidelines for the 2022 elections.

“So baka puwedeng malagay natin sa guidelines na the intermission numbers… ‘yung pagsayaw ng mga kandidato, pakanta, personalities na hindi naman po kailangan sa kanilang platform, baka pwede i-avoid na lang natin ‘yun to avoid a surge of the crowd and unnecessary gathering,” Defensor said.

(So maybe we can include in our guidelines that intermission numbers… the dancing of candidates, singing, and personalities who are not needed for their platform, these can be avoided to avoid surge of the crowd and unnecessary gathering.)

Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. said such suggestions will be considered.

“We would consider them, no, especially [the] suggestion to avoid getting…singers or those who belong to [the] entertainment industry, we’ll avoid them. We’ll try to include them in our manual,” Kho said.