Thursday, June 17, 2021

Comelec warns candidates on campaign violations

BAGUIO candidates were given out warnings to adhere to Commission on Elections (Comelec) rules on campaigning in the local polls.

Comelec assistant regional director Reddy Balarbar said they have sent out guidelines on the implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act through Comelec En Banc Resolution 9615 to some 69 candidates in the city after receiving reports of violations in campaign poster sizes among other poll violations.

Balarbar, concurrent acting Baguio election officer, said they have given out verbal warnings to political candidates over the radio to take down oversized campaign materials.

Balarbar did not specify nor identified the names of the candidates and opted to address the memorandum to all candidates as he stressed they have schedules of removing these oversized posters and campaign materials in the next few days.

Among those that heeded the call of Comelec to remove oversized materials include Timpuyog ti Baguio headed by the tandem of veteran public servants Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Representative Bernardo Vergara who immediately tasked their supporters to voluntarily remove oversized tarpaulins of some of their candidates for councilors placed along fences of the of Burnham Park complex near their headquarters at the Pines City Lion’s Club compound.

Last month, before the start of the local election campaign period, oversized posters of in the campaign headquarters of the Baguio Independent Democratic Alliance led by congressional candidate Councilor Nicasio Aliping along Bokawakan Road were also taken down.

Members of the Liberal Party (LP) in Baguio led by the tandem of Congressional candidate Marques Go and mayoralty candidate Jose Molintas were also given warnings by Comelec which the group noted.

In his three-page memorandum dated April 1, Balarbar reiterated the Comelec En Banc Resolution 9615 issued last January 15 reminding candidates of their television and radio advertisement airtime limits 120 aggregate minutes for television advertisements and 180 aggregate minutes for radio advertisements.

The Comelec officer said posting of campaign materials in public places outside the posting area is prohibited.

“Persons posting these shall be liable together with the candidates and other persons who caused the posting,” he stressed.

“It will be presumed that the candidates and parties who caused the posting of campaign materials outside the common poster areas if they do not remove the same within three days from notice,” he said.

According to the Comelec Resolution 9615 Section 9, print advertisements of electoral candidates are only allowed to up to half-page ads for broadsheets and one-fourth page ads for tabloids.

Campaign posters should not exceed 2x3 feet or standard cartolina size while streamers for campaign rallies or meetings are not to exceed 3x8 feet and may be displayed five days before the date of the rally and should be removed within 24 hours after the rally.

Only vehicles bearing green plates will be allowed to be used in campaigns while campaign materials placed in these vehicles should be limited to the 2x3 feet dimension.  Using vehicles bearing red plates and yellow plates are strictly prohibited during the campaign period

In common posting areas, only one campaign poster is allowed per candidate. For candidates with party affiliation, only one billboard with size not exceeding 12x16 feet or 192 square feet will be allowed with all candidates contained in the billboard.

For independent candidates, campaign materials should not exceed 4x6 feet or 24 square feet.

In headquarters or residences of candidates, posters should not exceed 2x3 feet while pamphlets to be given out should not exceed 8.5X14 inches or legal sized bond paper.

In private residences, consent of owners is required prior to the posting of election posters and in giving of pamphlets.

The Comelec official also reminded candidates of various prohibited posting areas such as public structures or edifices such as schools, shrines, barangay halls and health centers.

Posting of campaign materials are also prohibited in public transport terminals, waiting sheds, sidewalks, street and lamp posts, electric posts and wires, traffic signs or signboards erected on public property, pedestrian overpasses, flyovers, bridges, main thoroughfares and center islands of roads and highways.

Posting or nailing of campaign materials on trees is strictly prohibited. Painting of campaign materials on walls and fences of private properties should be with the owner’s consent and should be with allowed size of campaign posters.
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