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Remove illegal posters, bets told

The Commission on Elections has ordered administration senatorial candidates to take down the oversized campaign materials featuring PDP-Laban party bets in an electronic billboard on a condominium building along EDSA.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in a series of Twitter posts that the poll body issued the warning in response to criticism of the billboards featuring Maguindanao Rep. Dong Mangudadatu, former Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa, former special assistant to the president Christopher Go, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and former presidential adviser for political affairs Francis Tolentino, all senatorial bets of the ruling PDP-Laban party.

“These oversized campaign materials on electronic billboards are prohibited,” Guanzon said in her tweet, saying that “by public demand, candidates Bong Go and Tolentino please take down your posters now.”

Two days ago, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez also tweeted photos of Go’s campaign posters along Quezon Avenue.

“These posters are of the right size, but the location is wrong,” Jimenez tweeted.

Guanzon has already instructed Director Frances Arabe of the Comelec Education and Information Department to send notices of violations to the candidates as well as the billboard companies who will be found in violation of election laws.

READ: Crackdown vs illegal campaign materials starts

The poll official said that the Comelec’s Campaign Finance Office can subpoena their contracts after they file a statement of campaign expenditures.

Guanzon cited Comelec Resolution 10488 which serves as implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act for the May 2019 polls, parties and candidates may post their campaign materials only in all authorized common poster areas in public places as plazas, markets, barangay centers and the like where posters may be readily seen or read, and with the heaviest pedestrian or vehicular traffic in the city or municipality.

Posters and tarpaulins of political parties and party-list groups should only measure 12 feet by 16 feet or its equivalent but not exceeding a total area of 192 square feet. 

Posters of independent candidates should be within four feet by six feet or its equivalent but not exceeding a total area of 24 square feet.

For individual posters allowed in common poster areas, their sizes should not exceed two feet by three feet.

Those found violating the rules will face an election offense charge, which is punishable by six years imprisonment and disqualification from running for public office.

Environmentalist group Ecowaste Coalition on Monday denounced candidates and their supporters for posting political billboards and other election campaign materials outside the designated areas in Metro Manila.

READ: Campaign posters outlawed

Over the weekend, the group’s Basura Patrollers reported seeing election posters nailed or wired on trees, taped on electric posts and traffic signs and displayed on bridges, which constitute “prohibited forms of election propaganda” as per the Commission on Elections.

“The blatant disrespect for election rules explicitly banning the posting of campaign materials in unauthorized places is not good either for democracy or for the environment,” said Ecowaste national coordinator Aileen Lucero.

“Illegal posters and other unlawful propaganda do not promote a level playing field for a clean and honest selection of aspiring public officials. Also, illegal posters, which are mostly plastic-based, contribute to campaign garbage that can pollute the environment long after the election is over,” she added.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and AMA Education System, meanwhile, have teamed up to conduct a parallel quick count. With Rio N. Araja

READ: Comelec can’t stop poll big spenders

Topics: Commission on Elections , campaign materials , PDP-Laban , Rowena Guanzon , Dong Mangudadatu
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