Latest Stories

SC overturns Comelec ruling on TV, radio political ads


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

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Commission on Elections , election spending , Elections , Media , Philippines , political ads , radio , Supreme Court , TV

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace