IF anyone sees campaign materials posted outside the common poster areas in Cebu City, they can take these down anytime, anywhere.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña is authorizing the public to remove posters, banners and streamers that are outside the designated places, even if they belong to his allies in the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kaus-wagan (BOPK) and the Liberal Party (LP).
“I’ll deputize the whole city of Cebu. If somebody puts a poster in the telephone post in front of your house, please remove it.
Including BOPK posters, of course,” Osmeña said yesterday.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will give a three-day notice to those who failed to follow the designated common poster areas, said Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano.
After that, the Comelec will organize a team who will take charge in tearing down the posters which were illegally placed particularly on the electric posts and trees.
A Cebu City election officer echoed Osmeña’s appeal and said that the public should not be content with reporting illegal campaign materials to the Comelec.
Comelec Cebu City’s north district office will coordinate today with the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 for an operation to remove all campaign materials placed outside the designated common poster areas, which include the barangay halls, public markets and public plazas.
Materials may be posted on private properties, provided that the owners give their consent.
On the second day of the campaign period for national positions, more posters hanging from trees, utility posts and walls were seen. The Comelec has given the candidates three days to remove them.
Sick and tired
In this campaign, Osmeña said he will not put up any poster of himself and will just distribute fliers and calendars with his photo with LP standard bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
He said, though, that his face may appear in group photos of BOPK that may be used in posters for the party’s campaign. BOPK allies are running under LP.
Osmeña said he does not see a need to put up posters because they are helpful only if the voters don’t know the candidate.
“I have not ordered any posters…What’s the point? I love this city and I really feel sick looking at all those posters everywhere. And I’ll tell you something, I’m so sick and tired of looking at my face. Kada adlaw naa pa sa peryodiko, naa pa sa TV,” he told a news conference yesterday.
At the Comelec Cebu City north district office yesterday, lawyer Marchel Sarno said he agrees with the appeal of the mayor.
He hopes they can start with the city-wide operation to rid the streets of illegally placed campaign materials.
“It is the obligation of every concerned and responsible citizen not just to complain. They should also take action and even testify against the violators when a complaint is filed against an erring candidate,” said Sarno.
Castillano, for his part, said candidates should have a list of the common poster areas to guide them or their supporters where to place their posters.
In launching the tearing down of posters, Castillano said they would need the assistance of the police to secure the team from the attack of irked supporters.
When one is caught posting election materials in non-designated common poster areas, Cas-tillano said the person will be brought to the police station for investigation and filing of charges.
The violator cannot be detained immediately, unlike in the other crimes, because “we should not hamper their right to campaign.”
Meanwhile, at least 56 firearms have been confiscated by the police for violations of the election gun ban.
The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) topped the campaign with 25 firearms confiscated. Twenty-five people were also charged with the offense.
Cebu City Police Office came in next with 10 firearms confiscated; six from Mandaue City Police Office; and five each from the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office and the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office.
So far, no policeman has been arrested for gun ban violation, officials said during yesterday’s monthly Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis.
Central Command Spokesperson Wilson Fe-ria, during the same forum, said they have been reminding their men especially those in the field to strictly follow gun ban policies.
Feria said, in Bohol, at least three personnel from the Philippine Marine had been cited for gun ban violation.