Press Release
March 29, 2016

Drilon urges candidates: Stick to platforms, not mudslinging, violence

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today called on candidates to focus on sharing to the public their platforms instead of using mudslinging and personality attacks, which often spark off acts of violence during polls.

In a radio interview today, the four-time Senate leader urged candidates, especially in the local level, to help maintain clean, orderly and principled elections within their locales, by elevating the level of discourse among candidates.

"Let us make sure that the debate is solely about on how these candidates can help improve the lives of their constituents," Drilon said.

Drilon said that he hopes that candidates, particularly those running for local positions, should also avoid using inflammatory language and black propaganda in their campaigns, given that such forms of character assassination only incite a hate-filled election environment.

The veteran lawmaker explained that in the local level, antagonistic exchanges between candidates have a tendency to devolve to an "ugly and hate-filled scenario.'"

"Local politics are a whole lot different from national politics. When local politicians attack each other, they tend to be a whole lot more confrontational and personal," he said.

According to Drilon, it is this "bitter interchange of hostility" which help create an environment conducive to political killings and other acts of election-related violence.

He pointed out that incidents of political violence are already happening in the country, like the bloody shootings in Calauan, Laguna last Sunday, March 27, just two days after the start of the local campaign period, which left the incumbent mayor wounded and two others dead.

He condemned the attack and said that such brutality has no place in our democratic system: "I am saddened and I strongly denounce this violence during the election period. We were just campaigning in Sta. Rosa, Laguna the same day the shootings occurred, so we were really appalled when we heard the news."

"So let us maintain a calm situation, and avoid being too angry or hostile, since in the end, you and your opposing candidates will belong to the same towns or neighborhoods," Drilon then said.

Meanwhile, the Senate leader also encouraged candidates to also closely abide to the Commission on Election's rules on posting of election paraphernalia and ban on use of government vehicles or assets for partisan purposes.

Drilon, who has been going around the country since the start of the national campaign period, said that he hopes that candidates "would better show that they can fully follow our election laws, such as placing posters only on designated areas and avoid using government vehicles for campaigns."

"Our conduct during this election reflects on our ability to perform our positions as public servants. So I hope we all will conduct our campaigns properly." Drilon concluded.

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