Nat’l candidates given 72 hours

NOW that the campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups has started, local Commission on Elections (Comelec) Oplan Baklas committees are ready to remove campaign materials posted outside the designated common poster areas.

The campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups starts today, Feb. 12, while the campaign period for local aspirants starts on March 29.

In an interview Monday, Feb. 11, Acting Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said the local Oplan Baklas committees will be composed of the election officer, the police and the city or municipal engineers.

“We will start with the national candidates. We will take their illegal campaign materials down after Feb. 12 because they are considered candidates already, meaning they are now covered by election laws. After 72 hours, the law presumes that they were already given statutory notice, especially those who have illegal campaign materials. That means we can get rid of them without a written notice,” Brillantes said.

Candidates for governor down to municipal councilors and district representatives, though, can still do whatever they want before the campaign period for local aspirants starts on March 29.

In a separate interview, Gov. Hilario Davide III assured that his camp will voluntarily remove their 10 billboards posted across Metro Cebu before the campaign period for local candidates starts.

“Natural, like what we also did in the last elections, we had billboards and we also voluntarily removed them two days before the start of the campaign period,” he said.

Brillantes said that during their monitoring activities, they found some campaign materials that were posted illegally while some were oversized.

Section 9 of Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Elections Act, states that the Comelec may authorize political parties and party-list groups to establish common poster areas for their candidates in not more than 10 public places such as plazas, markets and barangay centers, among others, where candidates can post, display or exhibit election propaganda.

The size of the poster areas shall not exceed 12 by 16 feet or its equivalent.

Candidates may also post lawful propaganda materials in private places provided they are given consent by the owner.

It is the Comelec that will investigate and prosecute those that will be accused of posting in prohibited areas. (RTF)


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