MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) challenged Anakpawis and Kabataan partylists to produce evidence on campaign violations by President Benigno Aquino III in campaign sorties of his Team PNoy.
“Sila ang lagay ng lagay ng mga posters diyan, sinasabi nila pinaghihigpitan namin sila,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Brillantes told reporters Friday.
“Siguro mabuti sa Kabataan at Anakpawis na sumunod na lang sila sa batas at wag na sila gumawa ng conclusion na ginagamit ng government ang [funds]. Kung meron sila ebidensya, ibigay nila samin para tignan natin kung sino magiging unfair to anybody,” Brillantes said.
“We ask Comelec not to go after small fish while turning a blind eye [against] violations made by those with big names and those close to the President,” Kabataan partylist president and nominee Teri Ridon said in a text message to INQUIRER.net Friday.
“Their effort to regulate campaigning will be useless if it exempts allies of the president and big families from such regulations,” he said.
Ridon’s statement came after the Comelec found election propaganda of Anakpawis and Kabataan in banned areas during an inspection around Manila Tuesday. Election propaganda was found on the center island along Taft Avenue while Kabataan tarpaulins and posters inside the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) campus were also reported by concerned citizens.
Ridon said that they haven’t received official notice yet from the Comelec regarding their prohibited election propaganda in PUP and along the center island of Taft Avenue.
“We haven’t received a notice from the Comelec yet,” Ridon said. “We will look into the matter. We ask our volunteers and campaigners to follow Comelec guidelines.”
“We will comply with Comelec regulations upon notice of location of alleged illegally placed posters. We need to know where and which posters to take down,” he said.