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Campaign period for Senate, party-list bets under way today

The campaign period for senatorial and partylist candidates in the May 13 mid-term elections is under way Tuesday.

Republic Act No. 9369 or the Poll Automation Law provides that “any person who files his Certificate of Candidacy shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period” and that “unlawful acts applicable to a candidate shall be in effect only upon that start of the campaign period.”

The Commission on Elections yesterday issued a notice reminding all candidates and parties to immediately remove all prohibited forms of election propanganda before the start of the campaign period.

“Otherwise, said candidate or party shall be presumed to have committed the pertinent election offense during said campaign period for national candidates for national candidates,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.

“Prohibited forms of election propaganda include those that are posted outside of common poster areas, in public places, or in private properties without the consent of the owner,” he added.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10488, lawful election propaganda are pamphlets, leaflets, cards, stickers, or other printed materials not exceeding 8 1/2 by 14 inches;

Posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard, or any posted material not exceeding two by three feet;

Printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any candidate;

Streamers not exceeding three feet by eight feet in size displayed at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally;

Social media posts, whether original or re-posted from some source, which may either be incidental to the poster’s advocacies of social issues or which may have, for its primary purpose, the endorsement of a candidate only;

Mobile vehicles that is with or without sound systems and or lights;

Paid advertisements in broadcast, Internet, mobile, print, or outdoor media subiect to the requirements in the Fair Elections Act.

The Comelec urged parties and candidates to use recyclable and environment-friendly campaign materials and avoid those that contain hazardous chemicals and substances in their production.

Candidates and parties are also required to incorporate sign language interpreters and closed captioning in broadcast election propaganda intended for exhibition on television and or the internet, and are encouraged to ensure the availability of their respective printed campaign materials in Braille. (Leslie Ann Aquino)