Comelec gives BOPK, Team Rama 3 days to take down campaign materials

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ordered BOPK and Team Rama to take down their oversized and illegally posted campaign materials in three days.

Cebu City Election Officer Marchel Sarno held a closed-door meeting with representatives of Team Rama and Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) to discuss the matter.

If the parties fail to comply with the order, Sarno said, the Comelec and environmental groups will file cases against them.

Sarno specified the campaign materials of Sambag I Barangay Captain Jerry Guardo, who is running for councilor under Team Rama.

Comelec Mandaue City, on the other hand, said it will send notices to candidates who violated regulations on campaign materials.

Mandaue City Election Officer Anne Fleur Gujilde said she noticed campaign posters on the walls and on the fences of barangay halls.

“Temporary structures should be put up in the vicinity of barangay halls and other common poster areas,” Gujilde said in an interview yesterday.

Comelec Resolution 9615 requires that individual campaign posters should not exceed two feet by three feet in size. Political parties are allowed to put up one billboard not exceeding 12 feet by 16 feet or 192 square feet in size.

Pamphlets should not exceed 8.5 inches by 14 inches or that of a legal sized bondpaper.

Requirements

Posters placed at the residences of candidates should also the size requirements.

Comelec also prohibits the mounting or nailing of campaign posters on trees, and in schools, shrines, barangay halls and health centers. Campaign materials is also not allowed in public transport terminals, waiting sheds, sidewalks, street and lamp posts, electric posts and wires, traffic signs or signboards on public property, pedestrian overpasses, flyovers, bridges, main thoroughfares and center islands of roads and highways.

In Mandaue, common poster areas have been designated near the city’s 27 barangay halls, the City Cultural and Sports Complex, the Heritage Plaza and nine other places.

Gujilde said candidates who violated regulations will be given three days from receipt of the notices to remove the illegal posters.

Disqualification

If they fail to do so, the matter will be endorsed to the Comelec head office in Manila for decision.

It may be a ground for disqualification.

Candidates are aware of the rules on campaign posters, but their supporters who are tasked to post the materials are not, said Gujilde.

Kabataan Partylist held a rally outside the Comelec-Cebu City office yesterday to protest the disqualification case filed against them by the poll body.

King Perez, coordinator of the group in Cebu City, said the ground for their disqualification, which is their campaign poster violation, is “shallow.”

Reshuffling

He pointed out that senatorial aspirants and several local candidates also made the same violation.

Earlier, the camp of Mayor Jonas Cortes took the initiative to remove posters illegally placed in Barangay Cabancalan.

In a related development, Mandaue will have a new election officer because of a reshuffling policy by the Comelec.

Gujilde said she will be transferred to Lapu-Lapu City this week. Lawyer Edwin Cadungog from Comelec Cebu City will replace her.

Gujilde said the reshuffling, which was supposed to take effect last March 20, has been delayed because of pending matters like requests for ballot boxes.

The reshuffling is done to ensure that election officers are free of political biases.
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