Comelec denies removal of church’s poster-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
BACOLOD City election registrar lawyer Mavil Majacuron-Sia clarified Tuesday that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) did not order the removal of the "Team Buhay-Team Patay" tarpaulin displayed by the Diocese of Bacolod at the façade of the San Sebastian Cathedral.
Sia clarified this amid reports that the Diocese of Bacolod will never remove the tarpaulin and insisted it was an expression of their stand on an issue and not an endorsement or campaign against certain candidates.
Sia said her office received a complaint last Friday on the huge tarpaulin hanging at the façade of cathedral bearing the names of candidates that had supported the Reproductive Health Law.
Sia said the notice was simply requesting the Diocese of Bacolod, particularly Bishop Vicente Navarra, to comply with the provision of the Omnibus Election Code on the required size of "campaign" posters and billboards.
The size of the tarpaulin hanging at the San Sebastian Cathedral was reportedly 6 feet by 10 feet while the allowable size under the Omnibus Election Code is only two feet by three feet.
The lawyer of the Diocese of Bacolod, Atty. Michelle Abella, sent a reply letter to Sia stressing the main message of the Diocese in its tarpaulin is not really the candidates of the May 13 elections but about the rejection of the RH law.
Abella said the tarpaulin is not an electoral campaign material but merely an expression of the sentiments of the church.
He explained the stand and the campaign of the Diocese against the RH law has been undertaken for almost two years now when the law was just still a bill, and is independent of any occasion, electoral or otherwise.
Sia is currently in Iloilo for a three day seminar together with other election officials from around the region in relation to the General Instruction of the Comelec for the coming May 2013 elections.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 27, 2013.