DESPITE several reminders, some local and national candidates to the May 13 elections continue to violate rules on the sizes and placement of their campaign materials.
Acting Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu Provincial Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said Monday, April 1, most of the violators are local candidates, especially with the start of the campaign period for local bets last March 29.
“Pero wala pa tay mga nasilutan (no one has been penalized) because we are waiting for the Comelec en banc to issue a resolution on the matter. Our regional director wants us to conduct ‘Oplan Baklas’ simultaneously within the second or third week of April,” he said. “Oplan Baklas” is an operation to dismantle or remove campaign materials that violate rules.
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, wherein 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 who will be accused of posting in prohibited areas.
The Comelec will give candidates three days to voluntarily remove their oversized, illegally posted campaign materials after they are notified.
A meeting of all Cebu election officers on Thursday, April 4, will clarify the conduct of “Oplan Baklas” and security measures in line with the polls. (RTF)