THE counsel of administration vice presidential candidate Edu Manzano supported the decision of the poll body to relax the provision of campaigning on celebrities endorsing candidates.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said they welcome the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to let the television and movie personalities decide on their own if they want to resign or take a leave of absence from their work.
“We really believe that that particular provision should be revised in order to not to violate the Constitutional rights of our television and movie stars insofar as endorsing candidates is concerned,” he explained, during the regular Church-based sponsored forum in Manila Tuesday morning.
He noted that celebrities have their own rights to choose on whom to support. “We believe that they have the right to express their own choice of candidates.”
Last week, Manzano, in a letter, asked the poll body to refrain from implementing Section 6.6 of the Fair Election Act for being discriminatory to celebrity endorsers, effectively removed the right of the stars to earn a living, and that it curbs their right of expression.
On Monday, the Comelec en banc virtually answered the said letter, saying that the celebrity will decide on his or her own on what they want to since the law does not require them to resign or not.
Section 6.6 of the Fair Elections Act states that “any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air correspondent or personality, who is a candidate for any elective public office or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or political party shall be deemed resigned, if so required by their employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work as such during the campaign period.”
Meanwhile, Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz advised politicians simply rely on celebrity endorsers in promoting their candidacy.
But he stressed that celebrity endorsers have a significant role in getting the attention of the public, especially from the C, D, and E social classes.
“I think both (they should use both personality-based and platform-based). They should reach all five social classes of their audience. Mahirap i-target mo lang yung isa. Kung ako kandidato, ita-target ko lahat. Ano maganda i-present sa A-B, ano maganda i-endorse sa C. Sino maganda endorser sa D-E. Hahatiin ko para makuha ko lahat,” Cruz said.
On the other hand, Nacionalista Party’s senatorial candidate lawyer Adel Tamano said that celebrity endorsers level the playing field for the people to know the candidates.
Most supporters of popular celebrities belong to the C, D, and E classes.
According to Tamano, 91 percent of the population comprises those who have less in the society while the remaining 9 percent are the A and B classes. (FP/Sunnex)