MANILA -- Two presidentiables and one vice presidential bet may face disqualification if proven guilty of violating Republic Act (RA) 9006 or the Fair Elections Act.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body’s law department has photo evidences of the oversized campaign billboards of presidential candidate Senator Richard Gordon of the Bagumbayan Party and his tandem Bayani Fernando, as well as Bangon Pilipinas party standard bearer Bro. Eddie Villanueva.
“The clock is ticking. They should remove these billboards otherwise, they risk facing sanctions for violating election laws,” said Jimenez.
He added that the Comelec has already forwarded “images of posters and streamers that we feel are in violation of election laws… We gave the evidences to the law department so they can now take the proper legal action.”
Jimenez pointed out that the billboard of Villanueva along the Quiapo Bridge in Manila, though there was no “Vote for Bro. Eddie” statement, is obviously meant to boost the candidacy of the tele-evangelist.
The billboard carries the message “Sakay na sa Bus ni Bro. Eddie.”
Gordon and Bayani, on the other hand, have oversized posters placed along Edsa and the South Luzon Expressway, said Jimenez.
“A billboard is so way beyond the approved size that it boggles the imagination,” he stressed.
Under the Fair Elections Act, the allowed campaign materials are written or printed materials that do not exceed 8 1/2 by 14 inches, as well as posters with an area not exceeding two by three feet.
At the same time, Jimenez denied reports that the Comelec is planning to ban posters of the late national icon opposition senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and wife former President Corazon Aquino.
Jimenez said what they plan to do is to ask the Manila government to take down the posters and streamers of the deceased couple that were placed at Edsa and at Roxas Boulevard during the celebration of the Edsa Anniversary last month.
“They were put up there for the Edsa celebration. Edsa celebrations are over and we are now on the thick of the election campaign. I think it would be ingenious of anyone to say that the image on the streamer will not be associated to one candidate,” said Jimenez.
“In fact, the image of Cory is being used as a centerpiece for the campaign of Senator (Benigno) ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III,” he added.
Jimenez also noted that they don’t mean any disrespect in asking for the streamers to be removed.
“No disrespect was intended for either President Cory or senator Ninoy,” he added.
Gordon, Fernando and Villanueva were not reached for comment as of this posting Tuesday.
Villanueva, who is president of the Jesus is Lord Church, was in Cebu City to lead a meeting de avance Tuesday. He spent the day campaigning in Cebu with his running mate Perfecto Yasay Jr. and Bangon Pilipinas’ candidates for the Senate.
Gordon, on the other hand, attended Tuesday a forum on public health in The Medical City.
In the forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians, Gordon once again vowed to raise the salary, this time, of provincial doctors to P50,000 and barangay health workers to P3,000.
He said the funds will be generated on his proposed tax on text.
"We are a talkative country. We send two billion text messages a day. If we tax 50 centavos, we can have one billion a day," he said.
Gordon earlier promised to give teachers a salary of P40,000 per month.
His proposed tax measure can produce P360 billion in funds for the country which he said will be enough to provide the salaries of doctors and teachers as well.
Another presidential candidate, Gilberto Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, also attended the forum on public health. Leading presidentiables Senators Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Manny Villar snubbed the forum, a report said. (MSN/Angela Casauay/Sunnex)