Poll lawyer offers suggestions on TV ‘life story’ privilege of candidates


Romulo Macalintal

MANILA, Philippines—Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal believed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should level the playing field for rich and poor candidates by allowing poor candidates to also avail themselves of the “life story” privilege.

Last week, a television network aired the life story of Grace Poe, and next to air is the life story of another administration bet.

Macalintal said if the candidates paid the television network to air their life story, similar privilege should be given to other candidates provided they can pay.

On the other hand, if there was no payment in airing the biopic, “the other bets may also demand from the TV station that similar time be donated to them,” Macalintal said.

“In all instances, the expenses or cost of donation for such TV show shall be included in the Statement of Electoral Contributions and Expenditures (SECE) of the concerned candidate,” Macalintal said adding that even the advertisements aired prior to the start of the campaign period or since they filed their certificate of candidacy in October, must be included in the SECE.

“The length of time allotted for said candidate since the law (Fair Elections Act) requires report of expenses in connection with the election and not only expenses in connection with or during the campaign period,” Macalintal said.

“To rule otherwise will open [the] floodgates of circumventing the law on expenses and contributions received by candidates for all they have to do is claim that these were incurred or received before the start of the campaign period, hence, they will not report them anymore. This will be very unfair to poor and neophyte candidates who cannot afford the cost of expensive political advertisements,” he added.

Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes said the poll body cannot charge candidates for premature campaigning by airing the episodes of their life story.

He said under the Automated Election Law, “unlawful acts applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the campaign period” which is Feb. 12.

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  • magiting78

    Pagbawal n kc mga ganito klaseng kampanya, ipagbawal n mga parapernalya…daaanin na lang sa debate simulteneous ang airing s TV at Radio para malaman ng mga tao cno-cno ang may kalidad at qualipikado wag n yung puro pa pogi..

  • ed_nique

    these “life stories” have only one objective, and that is to give more exposure to the candidate. to level the playing field i say ban it altogether.

    there’s no point allowing every candidate the same oppurtunity. only the moneyed candidates or those with rich supporters can afford this.

  • vaporub123

    bakit kailangan pa ang bio-pic ng mga kandidato samantala wala naman makukuhang aral ang mga kababayan natin?buti sana kung may aral o galing sa hirap at yumaman ang buhay ng mga yan.samanatla pinanganak ang mga yan may ginto sa bunganga.ang kailangan malaman ay ang plataporma ng mga kandidato hindi kwento ng walang kwentang buhay nila.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

    Dapat pareho lahat ang TV at Print exposure ng mga kandidato ng mga Senatorial Candidates.

  • disqusted0fu

    That’s how it is, the rich, powerful, and well connected candidates always have the upper hand. Which gives the LP the greatest advantage because they have the President as their backer in the government and the queen of all media as their backer on TV.

    The ‘life story’ privilege is actually not a good basis as it can be deceptive. They can just change some events that would make the candidate look good in the eyes of the people.

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