Comelec urges local candidates to remove illegally placed campaign materials before implementation of ‘Oplan Baklas’

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |March 20,2019 - 02:31 PM

Campaign materials on prohibited areas such as trees will be removed by the Comelec. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines —  The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cebu province is reminding local politicians to remove campaign materials placed in non-designated areas.

Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) lawyer Jerome Brillantes, in an interview with CDN Digital, said they are just waiting for the resolution from their head office before they implement a wider “Oplan Baklas” on campaign materials that are placed outside common poster areas, especially those that are installed in prohibited structures such as trees and electric posts.

“Mas maayo that they voluntarily take down. In fact, under the law, we will give them a 72-hour notice to take down the campaign materials voluntarily,” Brillantes said. 

READ: Comelec reshuffles 50 election officers in Cebu

Brillantes said they expect the Comelec resolution to be out before the campaign period for local officials kicks off next Friday, March 29, 2019. The resolution will set the guidelines of Oplan Baklas, including the inventory of the violations of the candidates and the disposal of the materials.

According to the recent Comelec rulings, mounting of campaign materials in trees, electric posts, waiting sheds, traffic lights, public shrines, public transport terminals, bridges  and government buildings like health centers, schools and barangay halls is prohibited.

Brillantes added that they are also preparing for possible violations on campaign rules, especially the campaign ban on Maundy Thursday (April 18) and Good Friday (April 19).

Among the prohibited acts during the campaign period or from March 29 to May 11 are appointment, hiring or promotion of government employees; construction of public works except for those that were already on going prior to the campaign period; and disbursement of public funds.

By March 27, Brillantes said the 50 reshuffled election officers in Cebu province will be taking on their responsibilities in their new assignments. /bmjo

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