Cayetano joins suit vs limit on airtime



Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. RYAN LEAGOGO/ FILE PHOTO

The Supreme Court proving to be unresponsive to a plea from worried television stations, reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has jumped into the breach in aid of relaxing the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rule on how much air time candidates would be allowed to buy.

Cayetano on Friday asked to join a litigation case brought before the Supreme Court by television networks contesting the Comelec’s power to set limits on air time for political advertisements.

In a petition-in-intervention, Cayetano accused the Comelec of exceeding its rule-making powers and usurping the powers of Congress in setting a 120-minute limit on TV ads and a 180-minute limit on radio ads for national candidates.

“Putting a limit on the advertising time of a candidate is unconstitutional. It limits the people’s right to information,” Cayetano told reporters at the Supreme Court docket section when he went to file his petition early on Friday.

“Comelec cannot issue a rule that is outside the wisdom of the intent of the law. The Fair Election Act (Republic Act No. 9006) in this case, intends for the restriction to be on a per station basis. Comelec now goes outside that by resolving to restrict airtime aggregately,” he said.

The Cayetano petition seeks to to annul or modify Section 9 of the Comelec Resolution No. 9615, which contains the contested rules, for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It seeks the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin Comelec from implementing and enforcing the provision.

GMA Network and TV5 filed the original suit against Resolution 9615 last month. The Supreme Court, however, did not issue a TRO against the poll body.

Cayetano said that if the high court fails to stop the Comelec, there would be “far-reaching consequences to the conduct and fate of the 2013 national and local elections.”

He said Resolution 9615 “smacks of prior restraint,” which he said violates freedom of speech, of the press and of expression, and stifles the people’s right to be informed on matters of public concern.

He said placing limits on advertising airtime, particularly for radio, would deprive the people of much-needed information about the candidates.

“With 180 minutes for all radio stations nationwide, that means candidates only have four 30-second spots for 80 provinces. Considering that we would also need to allot a great percentage of the 180 minutes to national issues, how will we get our message to our voters in the provinces and our stand on local issues with that limited amount of time?” he asked.

Media being the most effective and most cost-efficient way to inform voters about their candidates, the aim of lessening the spending of candidates by limiting or regulating air time is at the expense of lessening voters’ opportunities to know their candidates more in order to vote wisely, he said.

In a Jan. 29 report, the Deutsche Bank Hong Kong projected P2 billion in political ad spending in this year’s midterm elections.

Cayetano said that while he recognized the rationale behind the Comelec resolution, the problem lies with its application.

“The goal was to equalize advertising opportunities among candidates and also to control their spending. But limiting advertising airtime actually has the opposite effect,” he said.

Instead of focusing on limiting advertising time, Cayetano the Comelec should focus its efforts in monitoring candidates’ campaign spending and the source of the funds used to advertise, claiming that some candidates are using money obtained from illegal sources, like gambling and smuggling, for their advertisements.

 First posted 10:27 am | Friday, March 15th, 2013

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  • joshmale2004

    This is not about people’s right to information. This is about leveling the playing field to give fair chances to all candidates. Remember, this is a contest where may contestants are vying for a position so it’s just fair that rule of the game has to be set to give all players equal footing and disallow sky is the limit spending for those with money to the disadvantage against poor but qualified players.

  • Johnny

    This is bad idea. So panalo ang pinaka-mayaman niyan sa commercial. Pede i-fully book at wala na fair chance ung ibang ‘poorer’ candidates. 

    Don’t touch the current cap law kasi mas fair un kesa sa gustong mong changes. I think mas magandang i-propose mo na batas ay kung ano mas mabuti (e.g. lagyan ng cap ung advertising fee para afford ng tapat na politicians, bawal mag-fully book ng consecutive commercials, etc).  Basta bawal ang media na mag-play ng favoritism, too much air-time, etc

    • Batang Altura

      dapat ipagbawal na din yung panel interview na ginagawa ng mga tv stations, puro bola lang ang sinasabi ng mga guest candidates, so far si Cynthia Villar lang ang nagsabi ng totoo, hihihi

  • Karabkatab

    Maybe it is better if all political ads will be removed from TV.  Wala naman platapofrma at lahat lang pambobola ang sinasabi ng ads nila, opposition man o administrative candidates.  Bakit kailangan pa ng ads in the first place?  Eh, lahat naman ng botante ay marunong at matatalino, di ba? Hahaha…

    • Batang Altura

      nasabi mo yan kapatid kung natatandaan mo sinasabi ni Zubiri sa isang ads nya na “nagpapatayan ang mngingisda dahil walang mahuli “san ngyari yun, ano tingin nya sa mangingisda mamatay tao. pero pasensya ka na di ako komporme sa sinabi mo na lahat ng botante ay matatalino at marurunong, konti lang silang ganyan..kung mga isang milyon lang may boboto pa din kaysa Nancy Binay.

  • prince_janus

    Ipagbawal na yang mga ads sa TV at Radio o kahit anong media para maiwasan ang malaking gastos sa election at maiwasan din ang pangungurakot ng mga politiko na mananalo sa election. Ginawa lang nilang negosyo yung pwesto sa gobyerno. Huwag ka ng umangal pa Cayetano!

    • Batang Altura

      second the motion , argabyado ksi mga kandidatong walang pera, at saka ang dami ng ads sa tv nakakainis na nga dadagdagan pa ng kabuwisitan. buti ka Cayetano marami ng naporsyento ay pano naman yung ibang kandidato na di pa nakakapagnakaw, dahil wala pa sa pwesto…

  • Fulpol

    Pumitik si Cayetano..

    pitik.. pitik… parang “gay”..

  • joerizal

    Tama naman si Cayetano. Kaso pag ni-lift ang limit, maya’t maya nating makikita sa TV ang mga pangit at nakakasukang mukha nila Enrile, Erap, Lim, etc. etc. Para tayong nanonood ng horror movie every 15 minutes.

    • blowcoldblowhot

      At a circus in a nearby
      town I saw you stood looking at the camels. Then you picked up a straw, placed
      it on the camel’s back and waited. After a while you mutters “wrong
      straw” and walks away. Got it?

  • vin reyes

    dapat nga wala ng mga political ads sa mga tv..dami na ngang commercial dagdag pa kayo mga hinayupak na mga to..nagkalat na nga mga poster nyo sa kung saan saan..pati ba naman sa panonood namin tv naka-balandra pa rin ang mga pagmumukha nyo? e kilala na halos mga kumakandidato ngayon lalo na yung mga gusto pang bumalik sa senado na gaya nitong umaapila pa sa korte mga iba ang personalidad na gustong pumasok sa malaking carnival ng nagbabalak na gumawa at muling gumawa ng batas..sanda-makmak na nagagwa nilang batas asan na ba tayo ngayon?..hindi kaya napapanahon na para pag-isahin na lang yang mababa at mataas na kapulungan para naman makatipid ang bansa sa gastos ng mga buwayang yan..ano ba sa tingin nyo ang maganda mga kabayan..baka kailngang tayo muna ang magusap-usap para sa ikabubuti ng lahat..

  • kurakut


  • i_am_filipino


  • JasonBieber

    Cayetano appears to be that guy in the Senate who makes sure to be nice to everyone and appear unbiased but in reality just does what he knows is not against PNoy. He is Team PNoy right or wrong and just plays the politic game to show the public that he is fair.

  • Joaquin Fernandez

    I like Allan Cayetano but I don,t go for his position on this one. Not all candidates have adequate money to spend for ads. This rule evens up the playing field. Also, what is needed is a restriction for celebrity candidates to appear in any form of trimedia exposure. This is because majority of our electorates cannot distinguish issues and character of candidates. They just go for name recall. This is sad and I put the blame on media giants, ABS-CBN, GMA7 and TV5 for not doing their part in educating the masses.

  • BatangSingapore

    mga sinungaling talaga itong team patay aka team abnoy aka team panot. sabi nila hindi na raw aangkat ng bigas ngayon 2013 pero mas madami pa inangkat kesa nakaraan panahon.

    sabi nila magaling sila sa negosyo tulad ni BUM aquino pero sablay pala dahil umaangkat pa rin tayo ng bigas sa ibang bansa instead na tayo ang mag export. hay hindi ko na talaga boboto yan team patay aka team abnoy pati si BUM aquino at tingting matakaw sa etits cojuangco.

  • Dancing Bear

    So the regulations doesn’t suit your means. So you want to change it to serve you better. When it’s bad for you – you should change it. Good. Ah….next can you relax the laws on murder please. There are some people who need to be.

  • farmerpo

    kayet ano sawsaw si Cayetano. 120 tv minutes = Php90M dadagdagan pa? Saan ka kukuha at paano ang bawi? Alisin na lang lahat para pareparehas. Sa amin nga, consehal lang php700k ang gastos.,Yung nangidnap. Akala national candidate. Tiklo.


    Of course he would make that petition. We have already known it, that he can’t make a simple point in a given time but keeps on “beating around the bush”.
    That’s why it is necessary not to vote this man. Even if he’s given a lifetime, he cannot make his point straight/clear. He’s just bullshitting!

  • Maldi2

    Cayetano is becoming a trapo. All masquerading in the name of public service. WTF!

  • jHdz

    This douchebag is just protecting the right of privilege of those candidates who have money and access to big media conglomerates. I agree with most of the posts calling for the banning of TV and radio commercials.

  • jga94

    Dapat wala ng pol ads sa TV….wala rin namang kwenta…hindi naman sya informative…halatang puros panloloko lang….akala gaganda buhay kapag sila ibinoto…eh ilang taon na silang nandyan….gumanda ba buhay ng mga Pilipino…

  • SuyaMelk

    bobo ba si cayatano? pag wala ung rule nato grabe na ung ads sa tv. malamang i abuse nyo kung wala ung limit. e pano ung iba na wala masyado pera para mag lagay ng tv ad na grabe???

  • GatasNgCow

    cayetano giving people another reason to not like him. this seems like a waste of time making a petition. there’s a reason why there’s a limit. stop trying to change it to get an edge

  • GeorginaBilson

    nothing about the airtime limit violates any freedom of speech law. I think its more of a problem if i see puro cayetano ads every 5 minutes, which is what you are trying to get out of this…..tsktsktsk hay nako…..

  • Floridahhh

    i dont like this guy…….if he cant get what he wants, or he feels limited, he will complain….

  • Erarara

    this is the kind of guy cayetano is…..guy does more work that benefits him than anything else. useless. just work with what you have??????

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