Duterte asks Comelec for rules to prevent crowding in campaign sorties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Commission on Elections to take a more proactive role in preventing crowding in campaign gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Comelec can issue an order to prevent superspreader events.

"I’d like to call the attention of the Comelec," the President said in his regular address to the nation on Monday. "You are the ones supervising the elections. As a matter of fact, you are the one running the show… Could you not just issue a [directive], i-maintain lang 'yung (just maintain) social distance?"

The poll body has issued limits for in-person campaigns based on alert levels. However, it will only take effect once the national campaign season begins on Feb. 8, 2022.

Duterte said allowing large gatherings for campaign sorties could mean the pandemic situation will worsen again, adding Filipinos "should not tempt the Gods" amid improving COVID-19 data.

The President also reminded 2022 election candidates to exercise "utmost caution and prudence" in holding their campaign-related caravans and rallies.