Comelec warns candidates: Follow campaign rules or be disqualified
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday reminded the candidates for the midterm elections to follow campaign rules or they may face disqualification.
“Any violation of campaign rules is an electoral offense, and an electoral offense is punishable among other things by disqualification,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said at a press briefing.
Campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups will start on February 12, while campaign period for local candidates will begin on March 29.
Jimenez said the penalty is not automatic disqualification “but it can happen.”
According to Jimenez, candidates with posters or billboards along the streets posted prior to the start of the campaign period are still not yet liable for election violation.
However, when the campaign period starts, all candidates have to take down all their campaign paraphernalia regardless who put it as it violates the Comelec rules.
“Every single bit of campaign propaganda right now will automatically be in violation of campaign rules pagpasok ng Feb 12 for senatorial candidates,” Jimenez said.
“All of that because they are too large and obviously they are not in common poster areas,” he added.
Under the election rules, posters of candidates should only be two feet by three feet. Posters should only be posted in common areas such as parks, and public markets.
Jimenez also noted that the Comelec would keep an eye on the airtime of candidates in both television and radios.
He said that national candidates only have 120 minutes or 2 hours per television station while 180 minutes or 2 hours and 30 minutes for radio stations.
Local candidates, meanwhile, have 60 minutes total airtime for television while 80 minutes for radio. /jpv
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