MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday went hunting for illegal campaign posters, promising to take legal action against stubborn candidates who were already given a 3-day grace period to remove them.
It didn’t take long before Comelec representatives, accompanied by reporters, found posters either oversized or placed in restricted areas such as trees and bridges in Manila and Caloocan City.
The crackdown began just three days into the official campaign period for national candidates.
The Comelec took photos of the illegal posters as evidence for the cases to be initiated against the concerned candidates.
The public works department and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will later assist the Comelec in removing Illegal campaign materials.
“Ito na 'yung simula ng legal process natin para ma-cite sila for election offenses,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters.
(This is the start of our legal process to cite them for election offenses.)
“We just documented them today then after that, we will print out all the pictures that we took then we will send notices to these candidates.”
Posters of former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is seeking a Senate comeback, were seen on lamp posts along C-3 Road. Those of former Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Sen. JV Ejercito were also seen hanging from electrical wires along Moriones Street.
Apparently also in violation were the oversized posters of Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, one of which was found right outside a barangay hall on Oroquieta Street in Manila.
Comelec representatives also found oversized campaign materials of Atienza’s relative running for Manila councilor outside the hall.
The official campaign period for local candidates won’t start until March 29, but the Comelec noted that barangay halls, like trees or other public spaces, were off-limits to any form of campaign propaganda.
Posters of former Sen. Mar Roxas, Angara, and other senatorial candidates Imee Marcos and Christopher "Bong" Go were found illegally installed in Caloocan City.
Under the rules, campaign posters are limited to 2x3 feet and should be placed only in “common poster areas,” which are determined by local election officers.
“Pag sumablay ka sa dalawa na 'yun o kung kahit sa isa dun sa dalawa, violation na 'yun,” Jimenez said, adding candidates should consult local Comelec offices on the common poster areas.
(If you fail to comply with those two regulations or even just one, that's a violation.)
Violators may be imprisoned, fined, or disqualified from holding public office.