By Robertzon Ramirez | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — Not even the raging COVID-19 pandemic can stop the 2022 elections, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez.
“Comelec can suspend elections or declare failure of elections when it becomes impossible to hold free and fair elections,” Jimenez said yesterday on his official twitter account @jabjimenez.
Jimenez’s statement was in response to a question from Twitter user @OinkLife who asked him if the poll body can justify the cancellation in the light of developments in India.
India is currently facing an overwhelming number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths mostly attributed to the ongoing elections in the country.
Jimenez emphasized that the Comelec can only suspend elections or declare failure of elections if the polling precincts were destroyed or rendered useless.
“No cancellation justified if only (due to) fear,” he said.
He pointed out there is only one year and eight days left before the 2022 national and local elections.
Asked if some politicians have possibly committed electioneering when they go around supposedly to showcase their platforms of governance, Jimenez replied in the negative.
He said there are no official candidates yet and the campaign period has not yet begun.
“Legally there is no violation of the ban on premature campaigning and electioneering,” he said, but added that what they are doing “should not be rewarded.”
In another development, the Comelec said on its official website there were only 151 days to go before the last day of voter registration.