Comelec starts removal of illegal campaign posters
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday began removing illegal campaign materials that are either oversized or are placed in prohibited areas.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they will deploy two separate teams that will comb Metro Manila’s northern and southern parts.
“Mag-iikot ang dalawang teams ng Comelec. Isa papuntang norte, isa papuntang south para makunan ng mga litrato ‘yung mga posters at mga billboards na nakatirik pa rin hanggang ngayon despite being given notice to be taken down,” Jimenez said in a media forum.
Jimenez said the activity’s purpose is to let candidates know that they have violated the Comelec’s rules and regulations on campaign materials.
“So ang purpose natin dito ay para maestablish natin na mayroong paglabag na nagaganap,” he said.
“Alam ko marami sa mga kababayan natin nafrufrustrate na kasi medyo matagal tagal nang hindi sinisita itong mga to. Pero wala tayong magagawa sadyang bago mag February 12 pinapayagan talaga siya,” he added.
The campaign period of national candidates in the May 2019 polls officially started on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Comelec gave them until Thursday, Feb. 14, to take down illegal campaign posters.
“So ngayong bawal na siya, gumagawa na tayo ng hakbang para matanggal yung mga materials na yan at para masabihan yung mga kandidato na kailangan na nilang sumunod sa ating campaign regulations,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez also explained how they will be documenting the illegal campaign materials: “Kung mapapansin niyo nagstart na kami magpost sa social accounts namin ng mga litrato ng mga out of place and out of size posters. At kung makikita ninyo, may mga hawak na diyaryo yung tao.”
“Yung dyaryo na yun, proves that this was taken today. Kasi headline ng dyaryo today yun eh. That proves that date of the image. That is going to be evidence. We will then write a letter informing the candidate of this violation. And then we will take down the material,” he added.
Jimenez said that if a candidate is warranted, “a criminal complaint will be filed for an election offense.”
Under Comelec Resolution 10488, posters for the midterm elections should not be bigger than the prescribed measurement of 2’ x 3’ and should only be displayed in common poster areas.
These common poster areas are usually located in and around public markets and parks. Meanwhile, posting campaign materials on foot bridges, trees and electric posts are prohibited. /muf
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