MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will allow illegal campaign posters to stay up in private properties, but the owners will have to face a case for election offense.
This was explained by the poll body in a briefing amid complaints from the camps of candidates and their supporters over the poll body’s Oplan Baklas.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told media that the poll body may soon release new implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that will require the written consent of private property owners before the poll body’s people can take down posters in private properties.
"One of the biggest features of the planned IRR is that we will be requiring our field officials to get a written consent before they can enter into private property. The Comelec has always abided by the policy that we will not enter into private property unless there is consent by the property owner. We will take that a step further by requiring the officer to produce a written consent form. Written consent para malinaw to all and sundry na even if they are not there during the event at para may patunay tayo na nagbigay talaga ng paalam yung property owner," Jimenez said.
Should the owner refuse, they will be given notices to remove the poster in 3 days or face a case for election offense, which Jimenez said could mean jail time, fines and even disqualification from holding public office.
"If the property owner refuses to give consent then a case is possible in the meantime the posters stay up," Jimenez also said.
Comelec commissioner Rey Bulay, head of the National Campaign Committee, confirmed they will be coming out with the rules.
"The commissioners held an en banc meeting specifically para doon sa Oplan Baklas. What I proposed is the creation, the passing of an IRR kasi iba na sitwasyon ngayon, the law may have not evolved 21 years ago but situations change, you now have social media to ventilate yung mga ganiyan kaya ang drumbeating grabe," he said.
Jimenez said Oplan Baklas has not been suspended.