The official candidates for 2022 national and local elections who will violate the health and safety protocols will be sanctioned by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Acting Presidential spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said on Wednesday.

Nograles said all the election-related activities during the campaign period will now be under the jurisdiction of the Comelec.

“So, in terms of enforcement, in terms of protocols and guideline, dahil nag-umpisa na nga po ang campaign period, February 8, kahapon, under na po talaga iyan (since the campaign period already started on February 8, yesterday, that will fall under), strictly speaking, in the jurisdiction of Comelec,” he said in a radio interview.

Nograles said it will be up to the Comelec to impose corresponding sanctions or punishments to violators of campaign rules, guidelines, and protocols, including minimum public health standards.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will only be responsible for all non-election-related activities, he added.

The 90-day election campaign period for the national candidates in the May 9 election started on Tuesday.

The Comelec earlier reminded candidates of the restrictions that will be implemented for in-person campaigning such as crowding or gathering a large group of people as well as entering houses, kissing, handshaking, hugging the public, and even taking selfies with supporters are strictly prohibited. (PNA)

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