VACC head files complaint vs ABS-CBN over anti-Duterte ad

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Dante Jimenez, head of the group Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has filed a complaint against ABS-CBN before the Commission on Elections over the airing of an controversial anti-Duterte ad in the television network on Thursday night.

Speaking to ABS-CBN on Saturday morning, Jimenez scored the use of children in an ad attacking Duterte, which was produced and paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes.

"Na-shock ako, and I find it malaswa masyado, using children. Even my children were surprised, na 'bakit ganoon, bakit gagamitin ang bata sa isang advertisement, political at that?" Jimenez said.

"As a father, as a voter I find it very indecent and immoral."

In his letter to Comelec, Jimenez wrote that the ad "is ruthlessly malicious, in extreme bad taste, and shamelessly exploitative of children," and that "ABS-CBN's resolve of allowing such anti-Duterte ad is definitely partisan."

"Ang akin po dito, ay paimbestigahan ng Comelec, being the agency charged by the Constitution to regulate, supervise the manner of election. Including 'yang sa media, mga advertisement," he said.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez has said that the poll body does not have the power to censor the content of political ads, but only to monitor the duration of the ad on a per station basis.

READ: Negative pol ads allowed by law - Comelec

But Jimenez's lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, says that Comelec has regulatory powers over mass media during the election period.

"This is the first time na nilagyan ng words in the mouths of children na attack ang ad. Wag na nating iinvolve ang children sa mga negative na ito. Ang Masamang ehemplo dito ang paggamit ng mga bata sa isang negative at attack ad," Topacio said.

In an earlier statement, ABS-CBN said that it had nothing to do with the production of the controversial ad, and that it was duty-bound to air a legitimate ad.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the negative advertisement against Duterte, his running mate.

Trillanes, meanwhile, slammed the TRO, saying it is an ''an attempt to block the truth from coming out and shatter the myth that they have propagated. This is the first ominous sign of the things to come under a Duterte presidency."