Comelec sees poster violations before LP rally

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2013 12:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2013 10:14 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections has monitored possibly illegal campaign ads in Manila on the 1st few hours of the official campaign period for national positions.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body monitored campaign posters beyond the allowed sizes and placed on electric posts along Quezon Boulevard, Manila, near the venue of tonight’s kick off rally for Team PNoy.

Jimenez however said there is leeway within the due process of the Comelec considering the kick off rally.

“They’re gearing up for a big rally today. In that environment, we’re liberal about that. We expect maglalagay sila ng posters,” he said.

He explained that materials on the occasion of a rally are given some leeway though they have to be taken down within 24 hours after a rally. Failure to comply will merit charges for an election offense.

He said they also monitored possible violations along España Boulevard in Manila.

"We’ve gotten reports from other places in Metro Manila where party-list group have put up small posters. Alam niyo yung pine-paste sa wall. I’ve seen them pasted on waiting sheds and plant boxes that line the street, España sa plant boxes,” he said.

Jimenez said the reports are coming in trickles but the Comelec expects the pace to pick up soon. He also said there is a grace period within which potential violations maybe removed.

“Once they are given notice, they’ll be given a grace period to take down materials. The grace period will be adjusted, in general 3 days.

Jimenez said they have also received tweets but they are asking for pictures and videos as well.

The spokesman said they want to expedite action on reports received to less than a day.

The list of common poster areas will be released by local election officers.

The Comelec will go on a surprise tour to check on illegal posters Wednesday.

Jimenez said markers or signs acknowledging projects of politicians must be removed as anything that benefits campaigns will be presumed to be campaign materials.