Remove or else.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today told all candidates vying for Senatorial and Partylist seats in the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections to remove all prohibited election propaganda before the start of the campaign period.
The start of the campaign period for candidates for national positions will be on February 12, 2013. In the case of local candidates, the campaign period starts March 29, 2013.
COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. cited Sec. 25 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 which provided the rules and regulations implementing Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act in connection with the May 13, 2013 elections.
According to the aforementioned COMELEC Resolution: “All prohibited forms of election propaganda as described in Section 7 of these Rules shall be immediately removed, or caused to be removed, by said candidate or party before the start of the campaign period; otherwise, the said candidate or party shall be presumed to have committed the pertinent election offense during said campaign period for national candidates or for local candidates as the case may be.”
The prohibited forms of propaganda, the Resolution stated, include any names, images, logos, brands, insignias, color motifs, initials, and other forms of identifiable graphical representations placed by incumbent officials on any public structures or places.
COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 also stipulates that it is unlawful for candidates to post, display or exhibit election campaign or propaganda material outside of authorized common poster areas, in public places or in private properties without the consent of the owner.
Also prohibited are election propaganda posted in government vehicles, public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys, trains, taxi cabs, ferries, pedicabs and tricycles, whether motorized or not and within the premises of public terminals such as bus terminals, airports, seaports, docks, piers, train stations and the like.
“We are issuing this call to all candidates: Please remove all prohibited forms of election propaganda before the start of the campaign period. Failure to comply constitutes an election offense punishable by one to six years imprisonment, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage,” Brillantes said.
The COMELEC Chairman also reminded candidates to comply with the rules and regulations on the allowable airtime that a candidate may use for their broadcast advertisements or election propaganda.
“This will be strictly monitored through our Campaign Finance Unit,” he said.