“…Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving…” –Colossians 3:17, 23-24
Congratulations to former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go for an impressive showing in the latest big radio survey on the 2019 senatorial elections, where he ranked eighth. This shows he has a very good chance of getting elected. He has the backing of President Rodrigo Duterte, along with supporters who engage in massive campaign events for him throughout the country. Plus, Go is the only one with gigantic posters and tarpaulins hanging across the archipelago – even in remote barangays. The posters play an important role in the campaign as they make the candidate better known and more likely to be remembered – making him a favorite among voters.
However, Go does face potential challenges from opponents who believe his posting of campaign materials is illegal as the campaign period has yet to commence. According to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10429, the official campaign period for senatorial and party-list candidates starts on February 12, 2019 and ends on May 11, 2019. Technically, candidates vying for these positions can only start campaigning and posting materials on and after February 12, 2019.
When consulting Go’s detractors, I immediately advised them to ditch such a challenge. That legal contest would not prosper as there is already precedent set by the Supreme Court. In the case regarding Rosalinda Penera, the high court decided posting campaign materials before the campaign period is “not really allowed” (which means it can be done).
In the end, candidates with a lot of money (along with those backed by rich supporters) have a big advantage, especially with campaign materials that often exceed campaign spending caps. For example, if the spending limit is P5 per voter, with 60 million voters, total costs would reach P300 million. What rich candidates do to circumvent the rule is spend money before the campaign period. This is why I favor the proposed federal constitution that prohibits any display of campaign materials during the campaign period as the Comelec should be publicizing candidates and promoting them to the public on equal footing.
Thank God, in the name of Jesus, free legal assistance program “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” is back! The show airs Mondays to Fridays, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Star Radio Catbalogan in Western Samar and live on Facebook at the Melanio Lazo Mauricio, Jr. (facebook.com/attybatas) and Star Radio Catbalogan (facebook.com/starradio901) pages. To call or send messages, contact 0977-805-9058./WDJ