SC: No TRO on airtime limit rule-A A +A
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
MANILA -- Major television networks GMA 7 and TV5 failed to convince the Supreme Court on Tuesday to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to shorten the time of political advertisements during the 90-day campaign period.
In a text message, the SC Public Information Office said the justices only required the poll body to comment on the TRO application and merits of the consolidated petition against Comelec Resolution 9615 as amended by Resolution 9631.
The poll body earlier issued the resolution to allegedly level the playing field among political candidates by limiting the total airtime a national candidate may buy for campaign ads to 120 minutes for television and 180 minutes for radio.
Local candidates, on the other hand, should not exceed 90 minutes for television and 60 minutes for radio.
"We raised that the aggregate airtime for political advertisements is restrictive, considering that it impinges on the right to suffrage and the right of the people to be informed on important matters and the right of the people to free speech and expression," stated GMA 7 in its petition last week.
The Comelec welcomed the petitions, saying this will settle questions on the provisions of the Fair Elections Act (Republic Act 9006). (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)