PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Jesus Verzosa is appealing to all those seeking posts in the coming elections to refrain from using the trees as billboards for their campaign materials.

This even as he directed all police commanders to take the lead in enforcing the provisions of the Election Code, which prohibit the posting of campaign posters outside the common poster areas established by poll body.

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“I am appealing to all candidates to please spare the trees from being used as billboards for their campaign posters in wanton disregard of our election laws,” Verzosa said.

Verzosa, who espouses environmental protection through various projects in the PNP, said these improperly posted campaign materials, besides being eyesores, destroy the trees and even contribute to the degradation of the environment since most of them are made of tarpaulin and other non-biodegradable materials.

He explained that like other living things, trees also suffer and their growth affected, when foreign objects such as posters and other election materials are recklessly posted or hanged on its trunks and branches with nails and wires.

The PNP chief also directed all police commanders to strictly enforce the Election Code’s provisions on campaign posters in coordination with their counterparts in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and local government units.

“I have directed all police commanders to actively and strictly enforce the (Election) law’s provisions regarding the proper placements of campaign posters of candidates which are only allowed in areas established by the Comelec, known as common poster areas,” said Verzosa.

“The trees are for the birds, not for campaign posters,” he quipped.

Verzosa has spearheaded and personally participated on all coastal and ocean clean-up activities of regional or provincial police offices.

He has also encouraged the planting of trees in lieu of mementos and gifts, which are traditionally presented by police offices to visiting police top brass.

The directive has been issued after seeing campaign posters of national and local candidates being posted and draped on almost every tree lined along provincial highways during his visits to the provinces across the country to oversee the election security preparations in the run up to the elections in May and meet with police commanders and local election officials.

Verzosa has also been one of the principal signatories of police-initiated peace covenants between and among local candidates to ensure the holding of clean and peaceful elections. (VR/Sunnex)