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Local candidates are being urged to sign a pact by Antique Comelec.

Local candidates in Antique are asked to join the pact to demonstrate their commitment to safe, peaceful, and orderly elections in May 2022.

Antique Provincial Election Supervisor Wil Arceo told the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday that the Antique Provincial Police Office (APPO) is now working with the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) to hold a covenant signing for provincial and municipal candidates.

“So far, only San Jose de Buenavista (on Jan. 18, 2022) has held a covenant signing,” he stated in an interview.

A total of 24 candidates signed the petition, including Mayor Elmer Untaran, who is running unopposed, as well as contenders for vice mayor and councilor positions.

The IATF clearance is required, according to Arceo, because the province is still on Alert Level 3, which prohibits mass gatherings owing to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

Candidates sign the covenant in-person to affix their signatures, therefore the activity necessitates a gathering in one location, he explained.

“However, the covenant signing is significant because the candidates take a solemn oath before God that they would not use any means to hurt or disparage their political opponent,” Arceo explained.

He went on to say that the solemnity of the event is why the covenant signing is usually done inside the church.

The covenant signing for provincial candidates may take place at St. Joseph Cathedral in San Jose de Buenavista.

Meanwhile, while the campaign period for municipal offices begins on March 25, the limitations on candidates posting tarpaulins and other campaign materials have not yet been implemented.

“As of today, I’ve noticed that there are only fewer tarpaulins being displayed along the highways in Antique by candidates and their followers,” Arceo added.

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