FOLLOWING its crackdown on illegal campaign materials, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said that advertisments featuring commercial endorsements of a product by candidates for the midterm elections will be also taken down.
COMELEC Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said that product advertisements featuring candidates are also considered illegal campaign materials.
“Lahat ng mga kontrata sa Pilipinas, dapat sumusunod sa batas ng Pilipinas. So dapat alam ng mga kumpanya na magkakaroon sila ng ganyang issue…. So kahit ’yung mga ganyang material, ’yung mga commercial endorsements, ayan po ay masasama sa pagbabaklas after due notice (All contracts in the Philippines should follow the law of the country. So these companies should be aware that they will encounter that kind of issue…. So even those kind of materials, the commercial endorsements, will be also taken down after due notice.),” said Mr. Jimenez in a joint press conference with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Friday, Feb. 22.
Mr. Jimenez added that the COMELEC will issue notices to candidates regarding their illegally placed product advertisements.
“Bibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon na tanggalin ’yung kanilang mga materials on their own, especially ’yung mga may commercials, baka gamitin nila ’yan after the elections kung kailan pwede na,” he said. (We will give them a chance to remove these materials on their own, especially those who have commercials, because they might be able to use them after the elections.)”
Under COMELEC Resolution 10488, campaign materials should be put up only in common poster areas such as plazas, markets, and barangay centers. Further, there are strict rules on the sizes of posters and tarpaulins.
“‘Yung pagbibigay natin ng notice is for the purpose of establishing liability…. Kapag malinaw na mayroon silang [mga kandidato na] liability, kakasuhan natin sila, maari silang mauwi sa disqualification (The purpose of issuing notices is for the purpose of establishing liability… If it is clear that these candidates have liability, we will file a case against them and they could be disqualified.),” said Mr. Jimenez.
Further, COMELEC said that only campaign materials that measure two by three feet can be placed in public utility vehicles.
“Bawal maglagay ng political ad kahit nasa tamang sukat, sa bintana, sa mga side windows… [Pwede] ’yung back windshield, specifically sa bus, pero hindi dapat lalagpas sa two feet by three feet (It is prohibited to place campaign materials on the windows, on the side windows, even if they are of the right size… They can be placed on the back windshield of buses but these should not be more than two feet by three feet.),” said Mr. Jimenez.
COMELEC along with the MMDA, the PNP, and the DPWH created a task force against illegal campaign materials. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras