February 6, 2023

All sports leagues and promoters, including leagues’ organizers, teams, professional athletes, managers, and other sports officials, are being reminded by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to avoid politicking in sports as the May 2022 election period has already started.
GAB Chair Baham Mitra was also specific in reminding all concerned to avoid accepting sponsorships from political candidates and partisan groups starting Feb. 8 to May 9.
“While we understand that sponsorship is important in staging sports events, particularly during this time of pandemic, we still need to follow the law and orders of the Commission on Elections,” Mitra said.
Mitra said leagues, professional athletes, and managers are not exempted from Comelec Resolution 10695 promulgated on Feb. 10, 2021 prohibiting the giving of donations or gifts in cash or in-kind during the campaign period.
Recently, Comelec has informed GAB that a sponsorship from a candidate and/or party-list groups to a professional team or league is considered a donation or contribution, which is in violation of Sec. 104 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Sec. 104 of the OEC states that no candidate, his or her spouse or any relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, or his campaign manager, agent, or representative shall during the campaign period, before and on the day of the election directly or indirectly make any donation, contribution, or gift in cash or in kind.
The Comelec also explained that sponsorship might result in possible election offenses such as vote-selling and vote-buying.
“We want to help our leagues and boxing promoters to bounce back, get good publicity, and secure large audience turnout. However, we want to remind them to avoid politicking in sports,” Mitra added. – Harley F. Palangchao