THE 45-day campaign for candidates running for local positions in the May 10 polls starts on Friday.

With this, Commission on Election (Comelec) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento urged the local aspirants to follow election laws so as to prevent the filing of election-related charges against them.

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“We have come up with resolutions regarding campaign guidelines, we advised them to read these so that they will know what to avoid so that they will not be facing any complaints,” he said.

Local positions that are up for grabs in the scheduled polls are: 222 seats for the House of Representatives; 80 each for governors and vice governors; 762 provincial board members; 120 each for city mayors and vice mayors; 1,514 each for municipal mayors and vice mayors; 1,346 for city councilors; and 12,116 for municipal councilors.

Sarmiento said the Comelec will continue to monitor if the candidates are following the laws on TV advertisements and the posting of streamers and posters.

Meanwhile, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said that candidates running for local positions are mostly the violators on common poster areas and streamer sizes.

Under the law, the size of posters should only be two feet by three feet, while streamers should be three feet by eight feet.

"The common poster rule, as simple as it may seem, is the law. If they violate it, then all they do is showing contempt for the law," Jimenez said.

The Comelec has designated common posters areas, where candidates should post their streamers and other campaign materials.

The posters areas are located in plazas, markets and areas being frequent by the public.

On the other hand, Sarmiento said they expect election-related violence to increase with the start of the campaign period for the local polls.

The poll body official called on the Philippine National Police to be serious in eliminating private armed groups.

Jimenez noted, "Ever since, the violence comes from the local elections. People are more hot headed in the local politics." (FP/Sunnex)