Comelec to police: Arrest violators
The Commission on Election (Comelec) has ordered the police to arrest people pasting posters and campaign paraphernalia on areas not designated common poster areas.
Lawyer Timie Lambino, regional director of the Comelec in Central Visayas, made this statement during the second to the last conference of of the Regional Joint Security Control Center yesterday morning at the AFP Central Command (Centcom).
Lambino also lauded the local officials in Mandaue City for taking the initiative to take down illegally posted campaign materials.
He said the Comelec is seriously implementing the guidelines under the Fair Elections Act which regulates the conduct of the election campaign.
The regional Comelec chief warned politicians that it’s better for them to voluntarily remove their illegally posted propaganda because disqualification awaits them should the Comelec be the one to take action.
“Kung kami ang mag re-remove, 100 percent merong kaso”, said Lambino.
(If we will be the one removing, all will have a case.)
Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) said they will follow the Comelec’s directive.
“We can do that per instruction of Comelec,” he said.
The rival political groups in Cebu City yesterday said they are now complying with Comelec regulations against the display of oversized campaign posters.
Councilor Jose Daluz III, who is also Team Rama campaign manager, said they already called the attention of their south district candidates for councilor, Lotlot Ignacio and Roland Diola, since last week as well as their north district candidate Felicisimo Rupinta for violating the regulations.
“Gibuhat na man na namo, pero dili pa tanan ang natangtang,” he said.
(We have already done it, but have not yet removed all.)
Daluz said they wanted to police their ranks to prevent future complications.
He said they also received reports last week that Comelec officials from Manila will be visiting Cebu anytime to check on the compliance with the Fair Elections Act.
“They will roam around city kay gusto sila mo-sample and file a case against violators,” he said.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña, leader of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) said his group have also been complying with election regulations. But he admitted that there are still some oversized posters which they may have missed.
“We are removing it already. But there are some places that they can just point it to us and we will remove it. No problem. We have to follow the law,” said Osmeña.
For a start, huge type “o” posters that where on display along the Mambaling access road of the South Road Properties (SRP) were already removed.
Mayor Michael Rama said that if Comelec officials are indeed serious about making candidates comply with the poster size requirement, they should start apprehending violators in Manila.
“Ngano moanhi pa man sila sa Cebu. Mas maayo unahon nila ang ilang tugkaran kay mas hugaw ang Manila,” he said.
(Why do they have to come here to Cebu. It would be better if they start looking in their own backyard as it’s more dirty in Manila.)/Chito O. Aragon and Edison A. Delos Angeles