Comelec looking for ways to better monitor candidates’ social media expenses
MANILA, Philippines — Only three percent of candidates registered their websites with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), so the agency is now looking for ways to better monitor candidates’ online and social media expenses.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez acknowledged Monday that not all candidates had set up official websites or social media pages, but he said the commission can track possible sites that may be considered as campaign outlets.
“Meron pa ring tayong paraan para malaman kung ano yung mga websites na basically nagbe-behave na parang campaign outlets (We have ways of knowing if there are websites that can serve as their campaign outlets),” he told reporters. “We can look at those.”
As of April 4, only 1,473 of the 43,554 candidates have registered their websites and social media accounts, the Comelec reported.
Of the 62 senatorial candidates, only 29 have been compliant with the Comelec rule. For party-list groups, only 69 of the 134 had complied with the Comelec requirement.
Of the 633 congressional candidates, 58 had registered their websites and social media accounts.
Failure to comply with the rules set by Comelec shall be considered an election offense. It carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of the right to vote, and disqualification to hold public office.
However, Jimenez said Comelec Resolution No. 10488 is not a “hard” rule but only a “directory requirement” for the candidates.
“Sa ngayon hindi pa natin tinitingnan na i-penalize yan. Unang time na gagawin natin to so mas medyo mas relax tayo sa implementation,” Jimenez said.
(As of now we do not consider penalizing that offense. This is the first time that we are doing this, so we are going to relax the implementation.)
Comelec Resolution No. 10488 states that all candidates, political parties, and party-list groups must register the website, and the addresses of their official blog and/or social media pages. /ee
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