Negros Officials Buck Long Campaign Period

Officials of Negros Occidental have expressed reservations on the proposal of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the campaign period for 2016 election.

Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said “No, I am not in favor of a longer campaign period. It will be expensive.”

“If you are an incumbent [candidate], you already have 32 months to campaign,” Lacson said

Board Member Salvador Escalante (2nd District) also said that the current 45-day campaign period is long enough. He said campaigning in all barangays in Cadiz City, the second largest local government in the province, would only take him 30 days.

However, he believes the extension will give national candidates more time to go around the country.

But Manapla Mayor Lourdes Escalante said the proposal will favor candidates.

“They could have more time to go around and explain their platforms and plans,” she said.

Provincial Election Supervisor Jessie Suarez said the poll body’s proposal aims to curb premature campaigning.

Comelec’s plan is “good to formalize the campaign of election candidates,” he said.

“Gapinagusto man lang sila butang poster kag indi man sila masaway kay they are invoking their freedom of expression,” Suarez said.

Comelec is planning to extend the campaign period of national candidates from 90 days to 120 days, and local candidates from 45 days to 90 days.*