Comelec won’t regulate social media campaigns, but…
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has maintained that it will not regulate the use of social media as potential medium of campaign in the 2016 elections by reason of online accounts being “personal spaces.”
But Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body is closely monitoring the platform for the cost of online campaign materials.
“Hindi natin ire-regulate ang social media. Tinitignan natin siya, pinanonood natin siya, pero hindi pa nagbabago ‘yung stand ng Comelec from 2013 na ang social media accounts ng tao ay personal space niya ‘yun,” Jimenez told reporters in a press briefing.
“Ang pinaka-exception na lang diyan, eh ‘yung mga miyembro ng civil service. Kung miyembro ka ng civil service, which means meron overarching prohibition for a partisan political activity,” he added.
While noting that the use of social media is free, Jimenez said the poll body is mainly concerned on the cost of campaign material being uploaded online, as these may be included in a politician’s total cost of campaign.
“Ang concern natin baka ‘yung material na ina-upload baka mahal ang pagkakagawa… Pwedeng isama sa cost ng campaign,” he said, noting that videos may be distributed free online but the production cost may also be expensive.
Jimenez said the Comelec is not setting social media aside, as it is also curious on its impact on various aspects of next year’s polls.
“It’s not something that the Comelec is keen on but that doesn’t mean that we are ignoring social media entirely. We are monitoring, we are watching how it develops because among other things, we’re very interested to know if this will truly be the ‘social media elections’ that we are watching out for since 2010,” Jimenez said.
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