‘Kahit tarp ko pa 'yan’: Vico Sotto orders removal of campaign materials in city-owned spaces

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2021 10:50 PM

MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Friday announced that all campaign paraphernalia posted on city-owned properties must be removed.

Posting election-related materials on public property is "strictly prohibited, unless expressly allowed by the City Government in compliance with the 2017 Pasig Revised Revenue Code," a December 1 memorandum from the City Administrator's Office read.

"I instructed our personnel through the City Admin to remove election-related materials posted in PUBLIC PROPERTY. Kahit tarp ko pa 'yan," he said in a tweet.

When asked what prompted him to issue the directive, Sotto told ABS-CBN News: "A few days ago, nagiging cluttered na kasi yung public spaces natin."

(A few days ago, our public spaces are starting to get cluttered.)

"'Yung ibang supporters ng mga kandidato, kung saan-saan na nagpapaskil, mga public lamp post, buti sana kung sila may-ari... Eventually, sino ba maglilinis niyan? Kami din naman maglilinis," he said.

(Some supporters of some candidates have been posting materials on public lamp posts, that's okay if they own that. But who will clean up those things eventually? The local government would have to do the cleaning.)

"May nakita tayo na nakatali sa wire ng Meralco, baka maging fire hazard pa yan. That's why pinatatanggal pa namin," he said.

(We also see some tied to power lines, which may become a fire hazard. That's why we have to remove these.)

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Sotto said the policy covers all candidates, including Giting ng Pasig, his local slate for the 2022 local elections.

"Wala akong pakialam kung sino yung kandidato. It can be Leni Robredo, Bongbong Marcos, Ping Lacson, Isko Moreno," he said, referring to several presidential aspirants.

(I don't care who the candidate is. It can be Leni Robredo, Bongbong Marcos, Ping Lacson, Isko Moreno.)

"Kapag nasa public space 'yan, puwede namin patanggalin yan," he said.

(If it's posted on a public space, we have the right to remove that.)

Supporters of politicians are "free to put whatever [they] want" within private properties in Pasig, the mayor said.

"Wala namang early campaigning under Comelec (Commission on Elections) rules. Technicalities aside, we may not agree with the rule pero yun yung rule," he said.

(There is no early campaigning under Comelec rules. Technicalities aside, we may not agree with the rule but that is the rule.)

When the official 2022 campaign period begins in February, political paraphernalia posted in undesignated areas will be also be likely removed, Sotto said.

"Mayroon tayong (We have) areas designated by Comelec where we should put those posters and other paraphernalia," he said.

"I believe in following the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law. Not everyone will agree with me, but I understand."