Brillantes defends airtime limit rule



Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc defended its resolution on campaign rules and regulations during a public hearing Thursday morning against media networks.

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc defended its resolution on campaign rules and regulations during a public hearing Thursday morning against media networks.

GMA Network Inc. and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) had previously filed separate letters to the Comelec asking them to clarify or remove certain provisions of Comelec resolution No. 9615.

They pointed to the provisions in the resolution promulgated on January 15, 2013 limiting airtime for broadcast election propaganda, candidates’ Right to Reply, and the requirement to get prior approval before candidates can be invited as guests to broadcast programs.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., told reporters after hearing arguments of the networks that they will study the points raised and would likely issue a clarification on their resolution by next week.

“Definitely there will be changes [but] I don’t think it will be major,” Brillantes said. They held a special en banc session in the afternoon so as to clarify some of the technical aspects that were unclear with them.

Both GMA Network and the KBP argued that the airtime limit of 120 minutes for television and 180 minutes for radio will restrict the amount of exposure for candidates to present themselves to the public and allow them to make an informed decision on who they will vote.

Brillantes said that the resolution was meant exactly to limit and prevent abuses of excessive propaganda from rich candidates.

“Candidates will strategize their use of airtime, when to make use of it,” Brillantes said during the hearing. “[We should] not interfere with how political candidates [use their time].”

Lawyer Roberto Rafael Lucila of GMA Network said that it would not be fair for smaller or local networks since candidates would go to the network with the most cost-effective coverage, such as national networks.

Brillantes however said that it will be equalized since “national candidates will be concentrated on coverage of national networks,” while local candidates will go to local stations.

The issue of the Right to Reply provision in the resolution was also clarified by Comelec saying that it has actually improved and expanded it by adding specific procedures on how it could be invoked.

Under their resolution, candidates have to submit first a “formal, verified claim against the media outlet to the Comelec” after which it will be endorsed to the media outlet for comment. Only then will Comelec determine if there is sufficient basis to grant a candidate the right to reply.

“Our resolution specifies procedures … if you don’t want us to be specific then we will just implement it as indicated in the law, which is broad and vague,” Brillantes said. “You will have more problems with the provision that way.”

“We are regulating the candidates … by adding requirements on how they can invoke their right of reply,” Brillantes said.

The prior approval provision, which lawyer Rudolf Steve Ularba of the KBP argued was impractical because of the dynamic nature of television, had already been amended to mean only prior notice, according to Brillantes.

He further clarified that its purpose was to determine whether a candidates’ guesting on a TV or radio program was because of bona fide news issues or whether it was for propaganda only.

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  • im_not_convinced

    this way the people who are always with the president when he goes on official functions have an edge of the competition who are not allowed to be seen on TV past the 120 max limit.

    FYI Bam Aquino has a commercial on ABSCBN that always plays on prime time that promotes nothing but himself and that he looks like his tito.

    Hooray for LP politics! 

    • magiting78

      Pag kakaalam ko during campaign period those commercials are not allowed to be air…I remember yung commercial ni Cesar Montano n Agua Vida was stop during election period…

      • FernandoBusi

        Nah its a purely campaign commercial promoting some website, 

  • INQ_reader

    Media hypocrites! The networks just want money, money and more money.

  • verconti

    npa should blast these networks.. mukhang pera..

    • big dawg

      actually, hindi nila gagawin yan, nasa sinabi mo ang sagot, muka ding pera ang mga NPA. dahil kung hindi, eh di patay na dapat lahat ng politicians dahil puro mukhang pera. kaso parang pulis din lng ang NPA, malakas mangotong

  • Fulpol

    LP guesting with Kris Aquino.. LP guesting with Korina Sanchez..

    LP has advantage courtesy of ABS CBN…

  • generalproblem

    salute to commissioner brillantes. actually kaya nagrereklamo ang mga network kasi liliit ang kita nila hehehehe.

  • Fulpol

    next strategy:  product endorsements

    Nancy Binay: Glutathione whitening soap and lotion (supposed to be tanning products)
    Chiz Escudero: Cheezee palaman and Barrio Fiesta (Heart Evangelista resto)
    Bam Aquino: EO Eye reading glasses
    Tinting Cojuangco: Belo Medical Group beauty endorser
    Cynthia Villar: Camella Homes with Willie Revillame
    Jack Enrile: Posporo/Match
    Koko Pimentel: Law firm expert in annulment
    Migz Zubiri: pineapple and banana produced from Bukidnon
    Grace Poe LLmanarez: Regal Films and Star Cinema endorser
    Ernesto Maceda: Alzheimer OTC medicine
    Trillanes: firearms endorser and China products endorser
    Mitos Magsaysay: post- Menopausal OTC medicine
    Magsaysay: Air transport endorser (in memory of Ramon Magsaysay)
    Gordon: PH Red Cross asking for blood donation
    Risa Hontiveros: pills and clitoral pleasure technique
    Cayetano: Vasectomy and condom in support to her sister Pia advocacy
    Jamby  Madrigal: the Madrigal business center in competition with the Ayala
    Eddie Villanueva: 3 o’clock PM pray the rosary

  • FernandoBusi

    Initially thought Chairman Brillantes was the wrong choice as COMELEC Chair. I am glad I’m proven wrong. Way to go Chairman Brillantes. 

  • George Lapulapu

    Tama lang. Kudos COMELEC… implement the law fairly.

    si Villar and Pichay sa dami ng airtime na-umay mga voters yun di na binoto…

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