AT LEAST 8,196 election campaign paraphernalia from local and national candidates were dismantled during a recent synchronized Oplan Baklas in Baguio City and Benguet.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) collected 4,784 in Baguio City and 3,142 posters within the 13 municipalities of Benguet.
Provincial Election Supervisor lawyer Nicasio Jacob said all collected election paraphernalia were dismantled by the different local task force and will be utilized as evidence.
The Comelec official identified prohibited forms of election propaganda failing to comply with the prescribed size of not more than two feet by three feet for posters 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 paraphernalia, some campaign materials were not posted in the common poster areas or in private properties without the consent of owners.
Jacob said the synchronized province wide operation seeks to continue every Friday thereafter.
On April 12, at least 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.
La Trinidad Comelec Officer lawyer Rodante Salpaten said out of the 299, 29 comprised of cloth tarp, 50 were plastic, four were big size tarpaulin, and 216 small tarpaulin.
He said this was a higher number compared to the 164 campaign posters first collected in the synchronized Oplan Baklas in Benguet town last April 5.
Aside from the two synchronized operations, the 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.
"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 operation Baklas is pursuant to Republic Act 9006, Comelec Resolution 10488 and memorandum from Provincial Election Supervisor regulating the posting, and displaying of campaign materials in the city and province.