MANILAThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are allowed to hire or transfer its officers and personnel during the period of the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Monday.
In Resolution No. 10451, the poll body has exempted both the police and military from the ban during the plebiscite period in connection with the Jan. 21, 2019 activity.
The Commission resolves to grant authority to the PNP and the AFP to appoint or hire new employees from December 22 until January 20; and to transfer or detail their officers or employees from December 7 until February 5, the decision said.
The Commission en banc said the exemption was accorded to the military and the police since they will be deputized for the forthcoming referendum.
To impose the prohibition against the PNP and the AFP will unnecessarily limit their movements and capabilities to carry out their mandates as Comelec deputies, it added.
However, it noted that the exemption will be applicable if such actions are deemed essential to the proper functioning of the office and will not influence the conduct of the plebiscite.
Likewise, the resolution said that such actions should not involve promotion or salary increase or giving of privilege from December 22 until January 20.
It added that the exemption shall be prospective in application and is without prejudice to applicable rules and regulations among civil servants.
The Comelec noted that its Law Department must be notified in writing regarding the hiring, appointment, or transfer of officers or personnel.
The PNP and the AFP are also allowed to use armored land, water, and aircraft during the campaign period.
This authority shall be without prejudice to the application of the prohibition to the use of public equipment and facilities owned and controlled by the government for the plebiscite campaign, it added.
The Omnibus Election Code (OEC) prohibits the appointment of a new employee or creation of a new position within 30 days before a special election.
Also, the law states that it is prohibited to detail or transfer any official or employee in the civil service within the election period.
The OEC also provides that the use of any land, water, and air craft during the campaign period is strictly prohibited.
Violation of the law constitutes an election offense. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency