ON THE first day of the local campaign, hundreds of illegal campaign posters of local candidates were removed by the Commission in Elections (Comelec) in various areas in Bacolod City Friday, March 29.
Acting Bacolod election registrar Ann Janette Lamban said two teams of “Oplan Baklas” were deployed in various areas to remove the illegal campaign materials that were posted outside the identified common poster areas.
She said most of the violators were candidates running for councilors, whose tarpaulins were oversized and posted in electrical posts.
“I would like to call the attention of the local candidates Villarosa and Villafuerte. They have so many oversized tarpaulins and most of them were posted in electrical posts. Hopefully they will voluntarily remove their remaining illegal campaign posters posted in various areas,” she said.
Barangay Sum-ag Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman Jason Villarosa and Rico Villafuerte are running for councilor under the opposition group Asenso para sa Buas-damlag sang Bacolodnon-Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan (ABB-MKK).
Comelec was operating with the assistance of Department of Public Works and Highways and the City Engineer’s Office.
Aside from the local candidates, Lamban said some of the violators of the poster rules were national candidates.
“They are really presenting themselves to the people for the people to select them as our city officials, so they have to show to the people that they are not violators. They should be a model to the people so that the people will vote for them,” she said.
Lamban pointed out that the candidates should remind or instruct their supporters to follow the Comelec poster rules because that will reflect on what kind of persons they are.
“They should use the identified common poster areas to avoid violations. Candidates must also observe the required sizes of their campaign materials, it should not exceed the two-by-three-feet size,” Lamban said.
Comelec earlier identified at least 92 common poster areas in 61 barangays of the city for the May 13 elections.
Most of the identified common poster areas are vacant lots on the highway, covered court, gymnasium and areas near the barangay hall.
Lamban added that they will continue their operation on April 5.
Meanwhile, Grupo Progreso, led by reelectionists Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran attended a mass at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos Church Friday followed by a motorcade going to Pope John Paul II Tower.
Grupo Progreso will hold its opening salvo on Sunday at the Bacolod public plaza at 6 p.m.
Other candidates of Grupo Progreso for councilor are reelectionist Councilors Dindo Ramos, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Bartolome Orola; former councilors Carlos Jose Lopez, Al Victor Espino and Archie Baribar; Barangay Singcang-Airport Kagawad Simple Distrito; Marlon Solidum and Israel Salanga.
The opposition group, ABB-MKK led by congressional candidate and former mayor Monico Puentevella, also attended a mass yesterday in Barangay Banago.
Other candidates of ABB-MKK are former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue for mayor, former vice mayor Jude Thaddues Sayson for vice mayor, and for councilor: reelectionist Councilors Claudio Puentevella and Wilson Gamboa Jr., Butch Ebreo, Edwin Balajadia, Elmer Villanueva, Rommel Jamero, Villarosa, Villafuerte, Augusto Montelibano, Bernabe Sibug and former councilor Homer Bais.