Larrazabal: Potential loopholes in Comelec's social media guidelines


Posted at Feb 12 2019 11:42 PM

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MANILA - A former official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said candidates can easily get away with the poll body's new guidelines on using social media.

The Comelec, in a resolution last week, ordered all candidates and political parties to register their website addresses, blogs and social media pages, marking the first time that these would be covered by campaign regulations. 

Former Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal lauded the poll body's initiative to monitor the social media content of politicians but he said the Comelec resolution has many potential loopholes.

"Maraming lusot sa provisions eh. Social media associates, you can be a contractor, there are many ways to weave in and out of it," he told ANC's Beyond Politics.

"What if it's done without the knowledge of the candidate? What if it's done without any fees? What if it's done but not to promote candidacy but only a social advocacy and secondary yung benefit to the candidate?"

Larrazabal added that the Comelec already has too much on its plate to be able to effectively monitor the candidates' social media pages.

"There's so much to do now, you deputize a legit organization to monitor for you, to monitor the expenses. It has to be a gradual step by step process," he said.

"Prioritize. What's the most important thing now? The important thing now is monitor expenses. The others, pwedeng later."