MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already seen several violations of campaign rules and regulations on the first day of the official election campaign period and it expects more reports to come in from the poll body’s people’ initiative.
Comelec Education and Information Department (EID) Director James Jimenez told reporters Tuesday that some of the violations they have seen were around the area of Plaza Miranda, Manila where Team PNoy will hold their proclamation rally led by President Benigno Aquino III.
Posters were seen attached to electric posts and many had exceeded the allowable poster size, Jimenez said. Many posters have also been placed on the plant boxes along the sidewalks, he added.
He however said that they “expect a lot of [campaign] material to proliferate” since the rally will be held there. But Jimenez warned that all those election propaganda have to be taken down 24 hours after the rally or else they will receive a formal notice from the Comelec.
The proclamation rally of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) set in Cebu will also be closely monitored by the Comelec for any possible violations.
Jimenez urged the public to report to the Comelec any violations they see through their website www.mycomelec.tv, or by reporting it through their twitter account @COMELEC and using the hashtag #SumbongKo.
They have already received at least 10 reports from the public as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jimenez said.
“We expect the reports to come in trickles at the beginning as people are trying out the new [reporting] mechanism,” he said.
Jimenez said that they have a staff of 10 administrators working from 8am to 8pm to monitor the reports coming in from various social media as well as television and radio advertisements.
He reminded that all forms of election propaganda, including product endorsements, are prohibited outside of common poster areas established by local government units.
Government vehicles, public utility vehicles, electricity posts, barangay (village) halls, trees, billboards, are just a few examples of places where there should be no election propaganda.
The official election campaign for national candidates begins Feb 12 and will last 90 days up to election day.