CLOSE to 500 campaign paraphernalia of local and national candidates were dismantled during the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) Oplan Baklas in Benguet’s capital town, La Trinidad.
Comelec officer attorney Rodante Salpaten said this is in lieu of the continuous province-wide synchronized operation against illegal posting of campaign materials.
Aside from the capital town, the 12 municipalities of Benguet and City of Baguio conducted the same operation with their corresponding local task force.
On April 12, 299 campaign materials were hauled in La Trinidad by the local task force composed of the Department of Public Works and Highways Benguet District, local Philippine National Police, and the Comelec.
The Comelec earlier captured 164 campaign posters in April 5.
Aside from the two synchronized operations, Comelec initiated another operation on April 9 with the Philippine National Police collecting some 50 campaign posters.
“For the first and second Operation Baklas, iyong violation, nangunguna pa rin diyan iyong content, wala iyong pangalan ng kandidato at address niya,” he added.
Comelec identified prohibited forms of election propaganda failing to comply with the prescribed size of not more than two inches by three inches for posters and election paraphernalia without the words “Political advertisements paid for” followed by the correct name of the candidate and his/her complete address and “Political advertisements paid by” followed by the correct name of the true payor aside from non - compliance of the prescribed size of campaign paraphernalias including those not posted in the common poster areas or in private properties without the consent of owners.
“Most were observed outside common posting areas declared by Comelec, posted in posts, plants and trees. Within their headquarters, premises of headquarters, there were oversize tarpaulins observed. That is why we ask them to remove this, and some complied,” he said.
The collected campaign posters will be used as evidence and considered in violation Omnibus Election Code and Fair Elections Act punishable by imprisonment not lower than one year but not exceeding six years and absolute disqualification to hold public office.
Operation Baklas is pursuant to Republic Act 9006, Comelec Resolution 10488 and memorandum from Provincial Election Supervisor Lawyer Nicasio Jacob regulating the posting, and displaying of campaign materials in the city and province.
The local task force operation will continue every Friday.