Comelec revives online watch vs premature campaigning-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
AFTER getting a go signal from Chairman Sixto Brillantes, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now on the prowl against candidates in the forthcoming Barangay polls engaged in premature campaigning.
According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez, they have revived their online operation versus premature campaigning as they are now encouraging the public to post pictures of posters and streamers of candidates placed prior to the campaign period.
“Send pics of premature campaigning using #SumbongKo sa @COMELEC. Make sure to include info on which barangay,” said Jimenez in his Twitter account (@jabjimenez).
He said this is aside from the Comelec monitoring teams currently going around the country to “document” premature campaigning.
The Comelec had use the social media during the May midterm elections to police the various campaign strategies of candidates in the national and local posts.
At that time, though, their campaign was limited to illegal-placed and oversized posters as there was no prohibition on premature campaigning.
But for the October 28 polls, the Comelec had already said it will be applying the premature campaigning prohibition believing the Poll Automation Law (Republic Act 9369) is not in effect.
Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code states that: “It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period."
On the other hand, under the poll automation law, “Any person who files his certificate of candidacy (COC) shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period”.
“Our interpretation, based on our Law Department’s opinion, is the rule on Republic Act 9369, where there is no premature campaigning, will not apply in this election. So we will test it now,” said Brillantes in a previous interview.
Premature campaigning could mean disqualification by the concerned candidate as well as possible election offense cases, which carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment.
Among those considered as premature campaigning acts include having posters, streamers and tarpaulins placed prior to campaign period, as well as holding parades and other activities after filing their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs).
To note, the campaign period for the barangay polls will begin on October 18 until October 26. (HDT/Sunnex)