Comelec warns candidates anew to remove illegal posters before campaign period begins, or face sanction
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Commission on Elections has directed all candidates in the midterm elections in May to remove all prohibited forms of election propaganda within 72 hours prior to the start of the campaign period.
These include posters and tarpaulins posted outside of the common poster areas, in public places, or in private properties without the consent of owners.
In a memorandum released by the Comelec national office on Monday, February 11 and signed by Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, the commission reminded the candidates that if their posters and other materials would still remain in non-designated areas by the start of the election period, they would be charged with an election offense.
“The Comelec reminds candidates to immediately remove all prohibited forms of election propaganda within 72 hours before the start of the campaign period. Otherwise, said candidate or party shall be presumed to have committed the pertinent elections offense during the campaign period, as the case may be,” said the memorandum.
The campaign period for the national candidates will start on Tuesday, February 12, while that for local candidates will start on March 29.
Laywer Rafael Olaño, Comelec in Central Visayas (Comelec-7) director, told Cebu Daily News Digital that before the campaign period, such propaganda were considered to be an exercise of the“freedom of speech”of the candidates.
However, within the campaign period, these propaganda will become violations that are subject to penalty that will be determined by the Comelec./elb
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