The campaign period already started and the heat is getting hotter and hotter as politicians do their traditional campaigning of mud-slinging and self-extol. Adding up in the muddled picture of Philippine politics are some rules and regulations of the Commission on Elections or COMELEC specifically the Fair Election Act or Republic Act 9006 Section 6.6 which states that:"Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air correspondent or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned, if so required by their employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work as such during the campaign period."
Said act is the most talked about issue nowadays as many celebrities are visible on the campaign rallies of the politicians they are supporting. COMELEC wants full implementation of the Fair Election Act and warns the concerned personalities: take a leave or be jailed.
Being a citizen of this democratic country I am for revisions of laws or acts opposing the people's freedom and I think this act is one thing the COMELEC may consider revising. I am more alarmed and concerned when the Supreme Court ruled out a decision allowing both elected and appointed government officials who are running for election NOT to leave their posts. In this decision, concerned officials may use their power and even government resources for their personal agenda and that they may not deliver quality services to people if they will engage themselves as candidates in the coming elections while in power.
The Fair Election Act will suppress the freedom of expression of the affected personalities because aside from being one they are Filipinos too. They are voters entitled to express their support to any candidate. Yes there may be powerful and influential to people as celebrities but whether they can affect or not the people vote that is something uncertain. People may just like going to political parties with celebrity endorsers but it doesn't mean that they will vote for the politician being endorsed by such celebrities.
I guess the COMELEC have just to monitor the TV and other programs of these celebrities because such programs are not anymore venues for political agendas. Giant TV networks with affected artists by such act already issued statements on their positions.
Filipinos especially the voters must politically mature in discerning candidates and in casting their votes righteously. No political advertisements, celebrities or other influential personalities must take control over them in deciding who to vote for. COMELEC must not be concerned on what these celebrities can do for the candidates. They must focus more in the coming automated elections to make it a clean, honest and successful one. This is the first automated elections in the country and people need more awareness about it and it is where the COMELEC must concentrate their efforts.