Comelec reminds barangay, SK bets of poster, tarpaulin limits
The responsibility to make sure that their campaign posters and tarpaulins abide by the rules lies with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) candidates, not their supporters and aides, said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair George Garcia, as his agency begins its crackdown on illegal campaigning.
“What I observed was that candidates just let their supporters put up campaign materials without orientation … that’s why [some] have no idea what is prohibited,” Garcia said in a CNN interview on Friday.
The poll body chief pointed out that the obligation to adhere to election rules “belongs to the candidate,” adding “it is their duty and responsibility.”
The first day of campaigning went “generally peaceful” and most were “compliant,” he noted, except for at least 164 erring candidates, prompting the Comelec to send them show-cause orders on Thursday for illegal campaigning.
On Friday, 210 show-cause orders were issued to erring candidates for possible illegal campaigning.
In a separate message to reporters, Garcia said the Comelec may start filing petitions for illegal campaigning by next week. He also hopes the nearly 200 disqualification cases for premature campaigning would be resolved before election day.
But he warned that those with pending cases who would be declared winners after the Oct. 30 polls “can still be disqualified even without a [case] resolution yet.”
Based on Comelec rules, campaign posters, billboards and tarpaulin, including those created as a “collage,” should have a maximum dimension of 2 x 3 feet.
Garcia made the rounds along Oroquieta Street and Recto Avenue in Manila to dismantle illegal campaign posters of candidates in Barangay 310 in Manila, officially starting the nationwide “Operation Baklas.”
Election watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections has also asked the public to report anonymously through their “‘Wag Kang Kukurap! Accountability Lab” portal any incidents of incumbent officials “politicizing” government programs to their advantage in the village and youth polls. It can be accessed on their official website.
Meanwhile, BHW party list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co has urged more than 200,000 barangay health workers to “defend their job security” against bets who would politicize their jobs as health-care workers.
In a message to the Inquirer, Co said her office has received dozens of reports from barangay health workers across the country “that their barangay chairpersons threatened to remove them and replace them.”
“They were threatened with nonreappointment or replacement by others who will follow their bidding or are among their followers—completely disregarding the training and experience of the long-serving barangay health workers,” she said.
Co said barangay health workers can use the Department of Health and Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Joint Memorandum Circular 2023-001 to “defend their job security.”
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan, for his part, has issued a stern warning to QCPD personnel, urging them to refrain from engaging in partisan political activities.
In a statement, Maranan emphasized the utmost importance of maintaining professionalism, impartiality and integrity at all times. He made it clear that partisan acts will lead to severe sanctions on the erring police officers.
He said that as the election approaches, the police force continues to implement “an intensified Comelec gun ban and checkpoint operations to deter any election-related incidents.”