Comelec chief to congressional bets: Follow election laws on posters you enacted

A collage of photos of candidates trying to insinuate themselves into the mind of the electorate.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – Congressional candidates should strictly follow campaign rules on posters they enacted, Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said on Sunday.

In an interview over DzBB, Brillantes said the Omnibus Election Code and Fair Election Act mandates the poll body to enforce the regulations on posting campaign materials of lawful size at designated common poster areas.

“Hindi naman kami naghihigpit, ipinatutupad lamang namin ang batas, eh kung hindi kayo tutupad sa batas lalo na ang mga congressman at konsehal, kayo po ang gumawa ng batas, kayo ang dapat unang sumunod sa ginawa ninyong batas (We are not being strict, but simply enforcing the law. Congressmen and councilors, you made the law, you should be the first to follow your law),” Brillantes told congressional candidates.

“Hindi namin pinanggigilan ang mga nagkakabit ng poster, matagal na pong nasa batas yan. Problema noong una, mga nakaraang eleksiyon, hindi ipinatutupad. Kami tagapagpatupad lang (We are not focusing on posters, that’s been in the law for a long time. The problem before was not it was not enforced. We are simply the enforcers),” he added.

Citing Resolution 9615, he said putting up posters bigger than than 2 feet by 3 feet or tarpaulins bigger than 3 feet by 8 feet is prohibited.

“Puwede ninyong lagyan ang iyong bahay, puwedeng maglagay sa private property pero hindi puwedeng lumampas sa tamang sukat (You can post in your house, inside private property, but not bigger than the limit),” Brillantes said.

The poll chief said the law specified those limits in an effort to bring down the amount of waste generated after the elections and save the environment.

He reiterated that putting up posters on electric posts, wirings, fences and columns of public places, trees, and all public vehicles including those owned and controlled by the government is considered unlawful.

The poll chief said that other than postering, creative forms of campaigning like motorcades, rallies, and going house-to-house allow candidates to introduce themselves to the electorate.

He reminded candidates who would violate these campaign rules await criminal election offense which entails imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

“Iyong mademanda lamang kayo, masakit na po yan kung kandidato kayo. Makakasira sa inyo iyon. Huwag na payagan ma-charge kayo. Kahit later on tumagal, na-charge kayo makakaapekto iyon sa kandidatura iyon (Simply being charged would hurt. It could destroy you. Don’t wait until you’re charged. Being charged later can affect your candidacy),” he said.