OLONGAPO CITY – A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official warned two candidates in the February 4 special elections in the second congressional district of Zambales to follow the guidelines on sizes of campaign posters.
Lawyer Elaisa Sabile-David, Zambales election supervisor, issued the warning to Omar Ebdane, Cheryl Deloso-Montalla and their supporters after their campaign materials exceeded the dimensions set by the Comelec.
David said the candidates and their supporters removed the posters when their attention was called. She said fines would not be imposed on them.
She said huge billboards by Ebdane, son of Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., which were posted in public areas in the capital Iba and nine other towns in the second district, had been taken down by his supporters.
“All we had to do was notify them and they complied immediately, unlike in other places where this is also a problem during elections,” she said.
David said few posters by Montalla exceeded the maximum size but these had been removed.
The posting of oversized campaign billboards and posters is prohibited by the Comelec and may result in fines and imprisonment, David said.
Only posters measuring 2 x 3 feet and streamers announcing a public meeting and measuring 3 x 8 ft are allowed during the campaign period.
David said the Comelec had also coordinated with the police and military to ensure peaceful and clean elections.
“There is no problem about peace and order here,” she said.
The gun ban, she said, had been imposed in the entire province and Olongapo City.
President Benigno Aquino III, through Proclamation No. 324, declared February 4 a special non-working holiday in Zambales due to the special election.
Ebdane and Montalla, daughter of former Gov. Amor Deloso, are among the five candidates vying for the seat left vacant by the death of Representative Antonio Diaz last year. The other candidates are Diaz’s daughter, Rica Diaz-Arambulo, Board Member Wilfredo Pangan and Alfredo Mendoza.
The special election had been called by voters here as a battle between second-generation politicians aiming to continue the legacy of their parents and upstarts who want to challenge the province’s political families.
In a statement, Arambulo said she never wanted to be in politics but it was the wish of her late father for her to continue what he had started.
The elder Diaz, 83, a member of the Magsaysay political clan of Zambales, served the province variously as vice governor and representative since the 1960s until his death from complications from a lingering illness in 2011. Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon