MANILA A day after political aspirants filed their respective Certificates of Candidacy (COCs), MalacaAang on Thursday reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte's commitment to ensure clean, honest and fair elections in 2019.
The President conveys to the nation his steadfast and unwavering commitment to strictly enforce the election laws to ensure a clean, honest and fair elections reflective of the genuine will of the electorate, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said Duterte has also assured the citizenry that his government will not tolerate offending practices that give undue advantage to a candidate or group of candidates.
The Chief Executive guarantees that all laws will be implemented and applied to everyone regardless of political color or position, he said.
He said Duterte is really committed not to allow government resources to be used during the election campaign.
Not a single centavo from the taxpayers' money nor any government property will be spent or used for or against a candidate, he said.
Panelo warned officials not to hamper campaign rallies, saying the mid-term elections will serve as a vital part of the country's democratic way of life.
Any official that restricts the issuance of permits to peaceably assemble and to hold campaign rallies, marches and motorcades shall be held accountable before the law, he warned.
The President respects the right of suffrage as the hallmark of our democracy. The government will thus act accordingly to protect the sanctity of the ballot and ensure that those who will win will be proclaimed winners without delay unless restrained by the courts, he added.
The period for the filing of COCs ended on Wednesday, with 152 individuals, composed of first timers, former and incumbent senators, vying for 12 senatorial seats at stake.
Former members of Duterte's Cabinet were among the senatorial bets. These are former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino, Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go.
Old-timers led by 94-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile and Sergio Osmena III, also joined senatorial race.
Other positions at stake in next year's elections include seats for party-lists, the House of Representatives as well as provincial, city and municipal positions. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency