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SC junks bid to stop political ads on TV before the campaign period

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MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition filed by an independent senatorial candidate that questioned the television advertisements of several senatorial candidates which were aired prior to the start of the campaign period.

In a two-page resolution dated February 11 but was released to the public only on Friday, the high court’s second division said the petition filed by Atty. Samson Alcantara lacks valid ground.

“Having failed to satisfy the requisites for a writ of prohibition to issue, this petition must therefore be dismissed,” the high court said.

It added that the relief sought by petition requires the “impugned party to be a tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial

“In this case, the impugned act subject of the petition for prohibition is being performed by persons in the exercise of neither judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions. Nor can it be said to have been performed ‘without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion’ as to fall within the Court’s expanded power of judicial review under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court,” it added.

In his petition, Alcantara urged the high court to stop the television advertisements of Representatives Juan Edgardo Angara (Aurora), Joseph Victor Ejercito (San Juan City), Juan Ponce Enrile (Cagayan) Jr., Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, and Puerto Princesa, Palawan mayor Edward Hagedorn.

He said the respondents “blatantly undermined and violated the letter and spirit” of the Philippine Constitution; Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the ‘Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and Article 19 of the Civil Code.

Article 19 provides that “every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.”

He said the ads should be stopped since the respondents are already enjoying “immense popularity” due to their regular media exposure and membership to known political families.

The advertisements, he said, would further “enhance their chances in the 2013 senatorial election  and through the same they are able to circumvent with impunity and render nugatory the limitations on airtime allotment for candidates during the campaign period.”

The ads that Alcantara cited in his complaint were that of Cayetano on “Filipinas 2020,” Angara on the “Senior Citizens Law,” Enrile where he declares, “Gusto ko may pagkain kayo,” Ejercito where he says “Yon ako,” and Hagedorn on his “Express Padala.”

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Tags: Elections , News , political ads , Supreme Court , vote 2013

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