|Rules are set to maintain a balance in the general order of things. Rules can be viewed as restricting, but they exist mainly to make sure that everyone’s rights are protected and respected.|
As the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) elections are nearing, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) of SUSG stands to enforce their jurisdiction over campaigning political parties. According to 1987 Philippine Constitution, the COMELEC enforces and administers “all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections.” The COMELEC in a university setting still holds the same power.
When it was announced that online campaigning is allowed for this year’s SUSG elections, the possibility of more complicated issues to arise also opened. The word ‘online’ simply entails freedom—a power that the Internet can hand over to anyone in just a click of a button. Online campaigns give political parties a chance to extend their scope of audience, but it is a challenge to the COMELEC to impose firmer stands that can regulate the power of the Internet in the elections.
Three complaints filed to the COMELEC were about campaign violations made online, while one complaint was about a violation through text. After the COMELEC’s decisions on the complaints that were made, a total of Php 2,500 was imposed and one candidate for college representative was disqualified. This proves that for every careless move made, there will always be a consequence.
The COMELEC does not only guard the voters’ ballots; it also makes sure that the entire election, including the campaign period, stays within the lines. The Weekly Sillimanian believes that there is no reason for student leaders to break the rules of COMELEC, intentionally or not, because as student leaders, they must set an example to fellow students in respecting the law as a means of showing respect to each other’s rights.
Think before you click or type. As the parties continue to campaign, let us be reminded that technology can be a friend or a foe; people can utilize it to make tasks easier, but it can backfire if used irresponsibly.~