SC overturns Comelec ruling on TV, radio political ads

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BAGUIO CITY—The Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from enforcing its rules limiting political campaign advertisements that are broadcast by television and radio outfits on the run-up to the May 13 elections.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. expressed disappointment over the tribunal’s ruling and threatened to step down.

Theodore Te, spokesman of the tribunal, said the court issued a status quo ante order on Comelec Resolution No. 9615 and on amendments imposed by Resolution No. 9631, which entitle each national candidate to a total of 120 minutes of TV campaign commercials and 180 minutes of radio commercials for the entire campaign period.

The same resolutions entitle each local candidate to a total of 60 minutes of TV commercial time and 90 minutes of radio advertisements, for the duration of the campaign.

The case against the Comelec’s airtime limits was filed by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, GMA Network Inc., Radio Mindanao Network, Bombo Radyo and TV5.

Instead of a temporary restraining order, the court issued a status quo ante order, which requires the networks and the poll body to treat the matter to be in a state prior to being challenged.

Te said nine justices voted for the status quo ante order: Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Marvic Leonen, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose Mendoza and Jose Perez.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led the dissenting votes alongside Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Mariano del Castillo and Bienvenido Reyes.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño Jr., who attended an earlier hearing at the Supreme Court here, said the ruling lifting the airtime limit on political ads “favored wealthy candidates or those backed by the ruling elite.”

“It is disgusting that the Supreme Court has decided against the Comelec’s effort to rein in expensive campaigns which poor or cash-strapped candidates like me cannot afford,” he said in a text message.

But GMA Network welcomed the Supreme Court order lifting the airtime limits on political ads.

“We maintain that the cheapest and most effective way of informing the public about the qualifications of the candidates, and issues involving them during elections, is through the medium of radio and television,” it said in a statement.

Reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said the tribunal’s ruling was a victory for democracy.

“Information about candidates should reach every Filipino family, not only those with access to national TV,” Cayetano said in a statement.

Cayetano said the Comelec’s fear of the Supreme Court ruling benefiting candidates with bigger budgets was unfounded because the candidates’ spending limit of P3 per voter remained unchanged.

His views, however, were not shared by one of his fellow reelectionists in the administration coalition. “This will definitely be a boost, revenue wise, for the smaller TV and radio stations during this campaign season,” said Sen. Francis Escudero, the chairman of the Senate committee on justice.

“However, this ruling will definitely also give an advantage and boost to the richer candidates who can more easily place more ads compared to candidates with less money like us,” Escudero added.—With reports from Vincent Cabreza and Norman Bordadora

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  • Hey_Dudes

    No doubt – GMA continue to win even when the crook is incommunicado with a dog collar around her neck.

    • Benigno the Turd

      Petitioner is Team Pnoy candidate Alan Cayetano. Two Pnoy appointed justices voted for the TRO. Your comment has no basis since if these two Daang Mapuwit appointees voted in favor of COMELEC, the TRO would not be granted. Clear naman an favorable Ito as yellow media.

  • farmerpo

    Spiteful rulings ruins not only the Supreme Court but the country itself. Justices who would not even respect the Flag should be considered for impeachment. Petty jealousy is already taking its toll and it is not pleasant.

  • Guest

    Gagawin lahat ni Alan Cayetano para maging No. 1 sa senatorial election, kahit maubos ang pondo ng taguig city government.

  • Guest

    Actually inumupisahan na ni Alan C ang mapanirang text blast against Loren and Chiz. Sinisiraan niya ang dalawa thru text messages.

  • regd

    Anong pruweba pa ang gusto nyo na di pantay ang batas lalo na sa mahirap?

  • Guest

    kaya nga panay ang gawa ng kampo ni Sen. Alan C ng mga smear campaign
    laban sa mga potential niyang kalaban sa 2016. Naloko na!

  • ingbilat

    ha ha they are really such a bunch of ludicrous people this our politicians! if anybody would ever care to listen at all and hear them speak about the usual; economic progress, jobs, security, the works! promises, promises, promises! then as soon as they are in the govt. this they will tell us; “huwag na kayong umasa sa gobyerno tungkol sa mga problema n’yo”!

  • gener ver

    the SC rulings is not a victory of democracy as what AP Cayetano said. It is instead becoming a game for the rich

  • gener ver

    wala na talagang magandang nangyayari sa pulitika sa pilipinas. pinagsasamantalahan na nga ng mga gaya ni cayetano and politika sa pagiging dynastiya sa pulitika, tapos gusto nila sila lang na mayayaman ang may advantage sa pangangampanaya

  • azkal futbol

    media mileage technique ni cayetano – kaya yung buong angkan nila di namin iboboto – OA na, daladal pa

  • eltee2012

    >>>SC said it all, SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET BE DONE !!!

  • californiaflip

    No political color here, just the color of money. There is a lot of advertising money vested in this ruling, Carpio and Velasco know that first hand.

  • disqusted0fu

    All these talks don’t matter now, it’s too late anyway. Besides, little do we know, it might just be the PCOS machines who will decide the winners of this coming elections. The candidate might just be wasting money for their ads.

  • kilabot

    of course.
    how will politicians spend their huge campaign funds?
    how will media earn huge profits from pols ads?
    how will sc ingratiate themselves to pols and media?

  • Felix Alcantara

    This is a ridiculous caption: “SC overturns”. Clearly, the SC did not nullify the said Comelec Resolution, it only issued a SQA which is somehow tantamount to an injunction. This reporter should know the difference when the Court rendered a ruling after a thorough deliberations and that of an interlocutory order which was released as a temporary relief for the petitioners oftentimes, bereft of hearings. SQA is just like a preliminary injunction that is, to maintain status quo. When the SC “overturns” a disputed Order, understandably, the Court have subjected it to a detailed analysis and sometimes conduct oral arguments. The caption should be: “SC temporarily restrains Comelec ruling on tv, radio political ads”.

  • John Smith

    Sucker Court did it again!

  • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

    Another pera pera decision itong SQA order na ito. Tanging mga mayayaman na kandidato at mga gahaman na network ang makikinabang dito. Imbes na bigyan ng equal chance ang mga kapos sa budget na kandidato, hinahayaan pa nito na mamayagpag ang mga maykayang mga kandidato. This is bad. SC succumbed to money pressure.

  • $23455908

    Nagdiriwang na ang mga TV at radio stations kasi mas malaki ang kikitain nila ngayong eleksyon. Hindi naman habol ng mga ito ay ang kapakanan ng mamamayan kundi ang kapakanan nilang kumita ng malaki . Hay buhay pinoy.

  • UrHONOR

    PARA wala ng “away’ pa, mabuti pa ang SC na lang ang magpatakbo ng COMELEC!

    TUMITINO na ang 2 sanga ng gobierno at namumunga na….pero ‘tong sangang ito, hindi sa hindi na nagbubunga, natutuyo pa ang mga dahon! Dapat dito putulin para magkaroon ng bagong sibul na sanga.

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