Comelec taps Twitter to control illegal campaigning-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) tapped the popular micro-blogging site, Twitter, as venue for the public to report all forms of illegal campaigning by candidates in the midterm polls.
"The whole idea here is to get the public to report the violations. Basically, this is social media versus guns, goons and gold. That's the philosophy we are working on," said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez of the agency's official Twitter account, @comelec.
Through a simple tweet or Twitpic (pictures posted via Twitter), he said the public may inform the commission of potential campaign rules offenses by candidates.
Jimenez said the commission only requires knowing how to get in touch with the person who informed them, the location of the infraction being tweeted, and how long has it been there.
He added that all information sent to them will be kept confidential until the person himself decides to file a case and go public with it.
And even if the person refuses to press charges, the official said the Comelec also has the authority to motu propio initiate legal actions versus the candidate involved.
Among the campaign rules that are commonly violated during the campaign period are the common posters areas, sizes of campaign materials, and excessive airtime for advertisements.
Election offenses carry a penalty of one to six years imprisonment as well as removal of right to vote and run for public office.
The campaign period for national candidates begins on February 12 and March 29 for local candidates. (HDT/Sunnex)