Comelec explains campaign rules
A poster with the image of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano is nailed to a tree along S. Osmeña Road in Cebu City.
Is this premature campaigning?
Lawyer Ferdinand Gujilde, Cebu election officer, said this isn’t the case.
Election rules and Comelec guidelines on this point are only applied during the official campaign period, he said.
“For now, as far as the Comelec is concerned, this is allowed,” he told Cebu Daily News referring to the roadside poster.
He said that based on the Supreme Court decision in Peneyra vs. Comelec, posting of election banners and paraphernalia outside the campaign period is part of the exercise of freedom of expression.
However, this practice can still be subject to local ordinances against littering, vandalism and nuisances, among others.
The campaign period for national candidates runs Feb. 9 to May 7 while March 25 to May 7 has been set as the period for provincial and local candidates.
Today is the first day of the period of filing of certificates of candidacy until Friday.
Gujilde said that even after candidates have filed, they only become “legitimate” candidates during the campaign period.
For the campaign period, candidates are required to use cartolina-sized posters, leaflets the size of long bond paper and 3×8-meter streamers in a public poster area designated by Comelec .
They can also be mounted on private property with the owner’s permission.
When asked about the tarpaulin in S. Osmena Road, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said it was posted by Cebu businessmen to convince Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for President. He thanked supporters for campaigning for him and Duterte.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) however reminds candidates not to post campaign materials on trees.
Nailing of posters, tarpaulins and similar campaign materials on trees is prohibited, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas said.
DENR-7 spokesman Eddie Llamedo said posting of campaign materials on trees is prohibited under a joint resolution signed by their office, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG).
The resolution also reminds candidates to post campaign materials in designated areas like parks, plazas, markets and barangay halls.
A common poster area does not refer to a post, a tree, the wall of a building or an existing public structure in active use, the resolution stated.
Llamedo said violators can be fined P20,000 and jailed to six months or both depending on the court’s decision.
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