Comelec says to stop 'Oplan Baklas' in private properties after SC TRO

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2022 08:11 PM

Members of the Metro Manila Development Authority collect dismantled campaign posters and tarpaulins at the MMDA satellite office in Sta. Mesa, Manila after they carried out 'Oplan Baklas' on Feb. 18, 2022. The Commission on Elections came under fire after several videos of its enforcers dismantling campaign materials in private properties went viral on social media, with some describing the incidents as
Members of the Metro Manila Development Authority collect dismantled campaign posters and tarpaulins at the MMDA satellite office in Sta. Mesa, Manila after they carried out 'Oplan Baklas' on Feb. 18, 2022. The Commission on Elections came under fire after several videos of its enforcers dismantling campaign materials in private properties went viral on social media, with some describing the incidents as "trespassing" and suppression of free speech. ABS-CBN News


MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday it will stop dismantling campaign materials in private properties following the Supreme Court's (SC) issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the controversial "Oplan Baklas."

In a press briefing, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the en banc agreed to obey the order, but added that Oplan Baklas operations will continue in public spaces. 

"During the discussion in the en banc earlier, it was agreed that Comelec will honor the TRO issued by the Supreme Court. We will continue with our baklas operations in public spaces as it is required by law. However, as far as baklas in private places, that is held in abeyance, in deference to the court," Jimenez told reporters.

Under Oplan Baklas, Comelec personnel and agents dismantle "illegal" and "oversized" tarpaulins and other campaign materials even those inside private properties posted by private citizens.

The SC's TRO was issued in response to the petition filed by the St. Anthony College of Roxas City, Inc. and two self-proclaimed supporters of presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

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