SC urged: Ban airing of pre-campaign ads

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2012 04:31 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2012 01:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A senatorial candidate in the 2013 midterm polls has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the airing of television commercials of 5 other senatorial bets.

In a 7-page petition for prohibition, Samson S. Alcantara of the Social Justice System accused Reps. Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr., Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano, and Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn of using the commercials "to promote their candidacies and enhance their chances in the 2013 elections."

Alcantara cited Angara's "Senior Citizens Law" ad, Ejercito's "Yon Ako" ad, Enrile's "Gusto Ko May Pagkain Kayo" ad, Cayetano's "Filipinas 2020" ad, and Hagedorn's "Express Padala" ad.

"Respondents, in authorizing the broadcast of the television ads herein above alleged, have blatantly undermined and violated the letter and spirit of (1) the Philippine Constitution that they, as public officers, have sworn to uphold and defend, (2) Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the "Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and (3) Article 19 of the Civil Code.

"Respondents' television commercials are obviously intended to enhance their chances in the 2013 senatorial election, and through the same they able to circumvent with impunity and render nugatory the limitations on airtime allotment for candidates during the campaign period," the petition read.

Alcantara also pointed out that "the usual argument that respondents can air their ads because they are not yet legally considered candidates although they have already filed their certificates of candidacy is precisely the best indication that, as public officers, they have not acted with utmost responsibility and integrity."

"They (respondents) have acted contrary to law, good morals and public policy," the petition read.

Alcantara also argued that respondents "transgressed the ethical proscription against extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth."

Alcantara told the high court that if left unchecked, this practice would allow respondents to "consolidate political power in their families."