By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras
THE Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has begun its crackdown on illegal campaign materials, including those oversized or placed outside designated areas, following a grace period for compliance that ended Thursday.
Under COMELEC Resolution 10488, campaign materials should be limited to common poster areas such as plazas, markets, and barangay centers. Posters and tarpaulins should measure about 12 by 16 feet.
“Lilitratuhin natin itong mga mterials at ido-document natin…Kung mapapansin niyo nag-post na kami sa mga social media accounts naming ng mga out of place and out of size posters. Kung makikita niyo, may hawak na dyaryo yung tao natin…that proves the date of the incident,” Comelec spokesperson James B. Jimenez said in a press briefing on Friday. (We will take photos and document them…If you will notice, we have already posted on our social media accounts out-of-place and out-of-size posters. If you will see, some of our staff are holding copies of today’s newspaper…that proves the date of the incident.)
“Then we will write a letter to the candidate informing the violation and then we will take down the material,” he added.
Mr. Jimenez said the Comelec will deploy two teams to go around Metro Manila to monitor violations.
He also warned that, “If warranted, a criminal complaint will be filed for election offense. An election offense is of course violation of Republic Act 9006 and its implementing rules and the penalty is imprisonment up to six years, a fine, and disqualification from holding office.”
Also on Friday, COMELEC Commissioner Rowena V. Guanzon released on social media a list of election candidates with illegal posters. The list is a mix of administration, opposition, and independent candidates: Ferdinand A. Aguilar, Ibrahim H. Albani, Gary C. Alejano, Richard U. Alfajora, Rafael M. Alunan III, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, Ernesto R. Arellano, Marcelino P. Arias, Bernard F. Austria, Ma. Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, Edmundo Vicente G. Casino, Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano, Glenn A. Chong, Neri J. Colmenares, Jose Manuel Tadeo I. Diokno, Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, Jinggoy E. Estrada, Lorenzo G. Gadon, Conrado I. Generoso, Florin T. Hilbay, Leborio M. Jangao Jr., Rodolfo B. Javellana Jr., Manuel M. Lapid, Romulo B. Macalintal, Emily T. Mallillin, Falsal M. Mangondato, Zajid G. Mangudadatu, Jose Sonny G. Matula, Luther G. Meniano, Alla S. Montano, Willie T. Ong, Sergio DR. Osmena III, Aquilino Martin De Llana Pimentel III, Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares, Danilo V. Roleda, Lorenzo R. Tanada III, Francis N. Tolentino, Antonio AS. Valdes, and Cynthia A. Villar.
For his part, Department of Interior and Local Government Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya reminded local officials to avoid campaigning in areas that are government property. “I think what we are strongly against is yung paggamit ng (the use of) government property,…government vehicle,…(and) anything owned by the government for any partisan political activities,” he said in part.
He added, “Kung may nakita po tayong mga instances na ganyan, sa panahon po ng social media, madali nang mapicturan yan. Ipadala niyo po sa Comelec at DILG, at matutulungan niyo po kaming dalawa to make that person accountable.” (If you see any instances like that, in this time of social media, it’s easy to photograph that. Just send to COMELEC and DILG, and you can help us make that person accountable.)