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Oversized posters & other campaign law violations

 

 

EDITORIAL

CAMPAIGN posters and tarpaulins of all kinds have proliferated all over the country these last few weeks. In previous elections, these would have been banned as premature campaign­ing, but under the present law, election law violations may be filed only during the campaign period. There is thus no such violation as premature campaign­ing.

The 90-day campaign period for those running for senator and for party-list groups in the House of Representatives officially began last Tuesday, February 12. We should now expect the Comelec to start enforcing the law and its rules for the coming election.

Comelec spokesman James Jime­nez said campaign materials such as a leaflet, card, bumper sticker, and other election propaganda must contain the words “political advertisement paid for…” by the candidate or party.

Posters must be no bigger than 2×3 feet or 3×2 feet and they must be situat­ed in common poster areas determined by Comelec officials in each locality. Posters may be set up on private prop­erty with the permission of the owner but they must be of the required size.

The Comelec is now sending out let­ters to political parties and candidates, advising them to take down their cam­paign materials violating these rules.

A number of candidates, evidently with substantial campaign funds, have installed their posters and tarpaulins in many city streets way in excess of the authorized size of 3×2 or 2×3 feet set by the Comelec and outside of com­mon poster areas. The Comelec should be able to enforce its regulations on all such violations,

The Comelec has now entered its bus­iest period. It needs to print 63,622,481 ballots, of which 1,818,710 need to be ready by April 13 for overseas absentee voters. The Comelec also needs another 1,142,063 ballots for use in testing the Comelec’s voting machines before they can be certified ready for actual use on Election Day

The Comelec is now also on the watch for violations such as on limits on elec­tion spending. A candidate belonging to a political party is allowed to spend no more than R3 per voter; an independent candidate, R5 per year. Political parties and part-list groups may spend no more than R5 per voter. Each candidate must file a report on expenses at the end of the campaign.

There are so many things the Comelec needs to watch out for and many of them are difficult to detect, such as over-spending. But the Comelec should be able to do something about obvious violations, such as oversized posters and tarpaulins, that are there on streets and highways for all to see.

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