MANILA - Twenty-nine of 62 Senate hopefuls have registered their websites with the Commission on Elections, the agency said in a report released Monday.
The Comelec, in a resolution last January, directed all candidates and political parties to register the names and addresses of websites, blogs and social media accounts that would be used to disseminate their online campaign materials, marking the first time these platforms would be covered by the campaign regulations.
The 29 senatorial candidates who have complied with the order as of April 15, according to Comelec's report, are the following.
Former senator Sergio Osmeña III
Sen. Nancy Binay
Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano
Sen. Cynthia Villar
Former senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.
Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno
Sen. Bam Aquino
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay
Former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas
Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel
former journalist Jiggy Manicad
Dr. Willie Ong
Former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares
Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile
Peace advocate Samira Gutoc
Sen. Sonny Angara
Luther Gascon Meniano
Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go
Sen. JV Ejercito
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano
former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino
Leodigario De Guzman
Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu
Seventy-five party-lists, 23 candidates for governor, 12 bets for vice governor and 96 Congress representatives have also registered their websites with the poll body, the report said.
Failure to comply with the order would not be deemed as an election offense because the declaration of websites is a "directory requirement," said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
"Directory, ibig sabihin kung susundin n'yo mas makakabuti, mas makakadali sa ating trabaho," he told radio DZMM.
"Hindi iyan something na kumbaga deal breaker," he added.
(Directory, meaning that if you will follow it, it will be better, make our job easier. That is not something that can be deemed a deal breaker.)
The poll body, he noted, can find out the websites used by candidates through their online managers.
Under the resolution, website owners or administrators are now required to submit to the Comelec certified true copies of broadcast logs, certificates of performance, affidavits of publication and other records to allow the poll body to include it in the computation of a candidate's expenditures.
Each candidate who belong to a political party is entitled to spend P3 for every registered voter, while those without political parties may allot P5 per registered voter.
Political parties and party-list groups may spend P5 per registered voter.