MANILA - Candidates in May's midterm elections who will fail to dismantle their illegal campaign materials on Monday may face an electoral offense petition, the Commission on Elections said.
Comelec earlier said campaign materials have a size limit of 2 by 3 feet and should not be placed outside common poster areas or in private property without the owner's permission.
The poll body will start documenting unlawful campaign posters on Monday and this could serve as basis of the petitions for electoral offense that it may file against violators, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
"Sa mga kakandidato po, paalala natin kailangan tanggalin n'yo na today. Kung hindi, 'pag kayo ay nahuli sa documentation namin sa mga darating na araw, baka magkaproblema po tayo," he told radio DZMM.
"Hangga't maaari, gusto nating manatiling malinis ang kampanya at ang halalan at sana maging compliant lahat ng kandidato," he added.
(To our candidates, we remind that it should be removed today. Otherwise, if you are caught in our documentation in the next days, we may have a problem. As much as possible, we want our campaign and elections to remain clean and we wish that all candidates will be compliant.)
Candidates, he said, should be responsible even for the posters put up by their supporters, Jimenez said.
"Kung alam mo naman na ilegal, pinabayaan mo lang na andoon, nakinabang ka rin," he reasoned.
(If you know that it is illegal and you ignore it anyway, you als o benefited.)
Comelec however does not recommend civilians to dismantle the posters by themselves as this may invite retaliation from candidates, he said.
The poll body, public works department and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority are in charge of taking down the illegal materials, he said.
The campaign period will run from February 12 to May 11 for senatorial candidates and party-list groups, and on March 29 to May 11 for local bets.