‘Face-to-face 2021 campaign ban invites popularity contest’

If face-to-face campaigning will be prohibited in next year’s elections, it might end up as a “popularity contest,” an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines warned.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP public affairs committee executive secretary, said if the Comelec pushes through with plans to ban face-to-face campaigning in the next polls, it would mainly benefit prominent politicians.

He noted, “Famous candidates who have name-recall will have an advantage over the others. The 2022 elections will have the prospect of being once again a popularity contest.”

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they are preparing for the 2022 polls on the assumption the coronavirus pandemic would persist well into the elections.

To avoid the possibility of further transmitting the virus, it considered possible changes to the election campaign rules, including prohibiting door-to-door campaigns and talking to people.

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