No such thing as oversized 'Buhay-Patay' tarps - lawyer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2013 01:30 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2013 09:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- A poll lawyer said the Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod could not be faulted for the six feet by ten feet “Buhay-Patay” tarpaulin since the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rules are vague.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal noted Comelec earlier argued at the Supreme Court that the bishop’s “oversized” tarpaulin violated Section 6(c) of its Resolution No. 9615, which only allows “posters with an area of not exceeding two feet by three feet subject to the limitation on their authorized expenses.”

“There is nothing in the resolution nor in the law to show that it applies to non-candidates or ordinary citizens,” Macalintal said, noting that the limitation is only directed to “political parties and candidates.”

There should have been a specific mention in the law if the limitation on the size of posters should be observed by non-candidates, he said.

“To apply such section to ordinary citizens will be absurd because there is no law requiring an ordinary citizen to report to the Comelec the cost of preparing even his own crudely prepared poster, which he displays in his private property in the exercise of his freedom of expression,” the poll lawyer said.