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KBP opposes rule for radio, TV to notify Comelec about interviews

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The Comelec  wants radio and television stations to notify it before interviewing candidates, but the policy has drawn opposition from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

Rudolph Jularbal, a lawyer for the KBP told Comelec commissioners in a public hearing Thursday that the requirement of “prior notice” would violate the constitutionally protected right of freedom of expression.

But Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. insisted that the policy was necessary to ensure that the Comelec would be able to determine whether the interviews were “bona fide” news or the candidates were campaigning.

“We are still taking the position that even prior notice…is unconstitutional,” Jularbal told the election commissioners.

“What we are pointing out, Your Honor, is that this has a chilling effect on the media….considering that prior approval or prior notice is required in order for the news report to be considered bona fide,” Jularbal said.

Brillantes said that TV and radio stations should notify the Comelec so that it could monitor interviews with candidates.

Why unconstitutional?

“What’s so unconstitutional about you notifying us? How do we monitor local radio stations calling only a single candidate every day. How do we know if you are not going to notify us that there is going to be such an interview to be done,” Brillantes asked.

“Do you expect the commission to be monitoring all radio stations all over the country 24/7?” he added.

Jularbal replied that ultimately the actions of the media would be “subject to the scrutiny” of the Comelec.

“That’s right. (But), how will we know if we don’t even know that you are airing something because you don’t want to notify us. How can we monitor what you are doing?” Brillantes replied.

“Notice is informative. That’s just an FYI and yet you still don’t like it. There seems to be a distrust in the implementation of our fair election laws. You are thinking of unconstitutionality when what we are asking is notice. What is wrong with notice?” he said.

“Why do you interpret it in the most negative manner,” Brillantes  added.

Right to reply

Jularbal also insisted that the so-called right to reply of candidates who had been slighted by their rivals in interviews was likewise unconstitutional.

Brillantes replied: “The right to reply is provided for by the Constitution to the Comelec. Do you mean to say the Constitution is unconstitutional?”

Jularbal said the Comelec was not the proper venue to determine the constitutionality of the right to reply and instead suggested that the commission set a “prescriptive period” for complaints for candidates who feel slighted in interviews.

Brillantes said the Comelec would take up Jularbal’s suggestion during its full session set for Thursday afternoon.

Talking to reporters after the hearing, Brillantes said the Comelec would revise its resolution on political ads and it was up for discussion by the afternoon session.

Clarifications will be announced next week, he said.


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Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Comelec , KBP , Media , Politics


  • Loggnat

    Does the reporter have to refuse to do an interview of a candidate that he accidentally met in an unrelated function because he/she does not have time or way to notify the COMELEC? In an ambush live interview when a chance encounter with a candidate and the he/she is willing to answer questions, could the notification to the COMELEC done after the interview and will the COMELEC has the power to stop the interview from being aired ? The COMELEC should try to watch or respond to any complaint of illegal campaigning instead of asking the media to give them notice before doing an interview. Prior notification is a form of control to curtail the media which is against the freedom of the press and the candidates freedom of speech as guaranteed by the Constitution. If COMELEC Chair Brilliantes cannot comprehend that, maybe somebody had to bring it to the courts and all the way to the Supreme Court if need be for clarification.

  • batukan

    again a case of earning income just for the case of earning never mind the political leadership of this country. they don’t care anyway for it is up to them to earn.  Money spells big difference who cares about the country anyway!

  • MULEN

    Ayaw ng Radio Inquirer iyan dahil naka-schedule na ang alternate interviews nila kay Bum Aquino at Teodora Casiño until election eve. 

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    Mababawasan daw kasi kita nila pag na implement na yung fixed 180minutes na advertisement hahahah



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