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POLITICOS, PARTIES TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE

Comelec issues final call for removal of illegal posters

/ 07:21 AM February 12, 2019
Comelec issues final call for removal of illegal posters

GOING DOWN The Commission on Elections reminds candidates and political parties to remove all prohibited election materials before the start of the campaign period. —EDWIN BACASMAS

On the eve of the deadline for dismantling illegal campaign materials, such ads were still up outside common poster areas in several areas in Metro Manila.

On Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued a notice reminding all candidates and parties to immediately remove all prohibited forms of election propaganda before the start of the campaign period.

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Otherwise, the candidate or party shall be presumed to have committed the election offense during the campaign period for national or local candidates, the Comelec said.

Prohibited election materials are those posted outside common poster areas, such as parks and markets, the poll body said.

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Those posted in private properties without the consent of owners are also counted as a violation.

Under election rules, posters and banners with a maximum size of 61 centimeters by 91 cm or 91 cm by 61 cm are allowed.

Electoral offense

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the candidate or the political group would be held accountable regardless of who put up the illegal campaign materials.

“Any violation of campaign rules is an electoral offense, and an electoral offense is punishable among other things by disqualification,” he said.

A total of 62 candidates are running for senatorial posts while 134 groups are vying for party-list seats in the House of Representatives.

Airtime limit

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Jimenez also noted that the poll body would keep an eye on the airtime of candidates.

National candidates have 120 minutes, or 2 hours, per television station, and 180 minutes, or 2 hours and 30 minutes, for radio.

Local candidates have 60 minutes total airtime for television and 80 minutes for radio.

Candidates are prohibited from campaigning on Maundy Thursday (April 18), Good Friday (April 19), the eve of election day (May 12) and election day (May 13).

Other prohibited acts

Other prohibited acts during the campaign period include the giving of donations/gifts in cash or in kind by candidates, treasurers of parties, or their agents for any structure for public use or for the use of any religious or civic organization.

Neither is the appointment or use of special policemen or confidential agents allowed.

Likewise, Comelec Resolution No. 10488 requires parties and candidates to register all websites and social media pages that they will use in their campaign.

Blogs or social media pages not directly maintained by a party or candidate will be considered additional campaign blogs or pages, if such sites, when taken as a whole, endorse a party or candidate. —TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Comelec, illegal campaign materials
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