TARPAULINS of presidential aspirant Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro put up in private properties were ordered taken down by election officials because these were way bigger than the prescribed sizes.
Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said his office received a call from a concerned citizen that there were Teodoro tarpaulins that violated the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-prescribed size of two feet by three feet.
Castillano said the caller was a “simple” citizen when asked if the complainant was from the camp of a Teodoro opponent.
The subject of the complaint was Teodoro’s campaign material at the Cebu South Coastal Road. It was beside the tarpaulins of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her runningmate Glenn Anthony Soco.
Garcia told reporters that she decided to have Teodoro’s tarpaulins removed to prevent a “spectacle” of Comelec tearing them down.
The governor also said she does not want the tarpaulins destroyed.
However, the removal of the campaign materials raised suspicion that One Cebu, which Garcia heads, has turned its back on Teodoro.
Garcia denied this.
Speculations increased when posters of Naciona-lista Party candidates Manny Villar and Loren Legarda were placed under the Gwen-Glenn tarpaulins.
Garcia said the camp of Villar and Legarda could only want to ride on with the popularity of the Gwen-Glenn tandem or they simply want to sow intrigues.
“One Cebu continues to stand by its continued, full, unequivocal and unstinting support for Gibo. He is the most qualified and inspirational leader and candidate that this country needs and deserves,” said Garcia.
Castillano said the Villar-Legarda posters were not oversized.
Teodoro is part of One Cebu’s 3G campaign called Gwen, Glenn and Gibo.
Because of the complaint, Castillano called the staff of Garcia to ask them to remove the tarpaulins.
The campaign materials of Garcia and Soco are not yet considered oversized because the campaign period for local candidates will be on March 26 yet so this means, local candidates cannot be cited for violations.
Castillano said the campaign period for national candidates started last Feb. 9, which means that candidates for president, vice president and senators will have to follow the provisions of Comelec Resolution 8758, which includes rules and regulations under the Fair Election Practices Act.
But Garcia said her camp will challenge the interpretation of the rule because the Teodoro tarpaulins were placed on private properties. The tarpaulins were 10 feet by eight feet.
“How do you match that with the right of a private owner to freedom of expression?” Garcia said.
Garcia said she will ask the opinion of her father, Rep. Pablo Garcia (Cebu, 2nd district), on this. She will also ask for a dialogue with the Comelec.