Comelec set to take down illegally placed posters
Campaign posters that were plastered in non-designated areas in Cebu will be taken down by personnel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the next few days.
“Illegally placed posters can be taken down anytime. They don’t need an order from me because it’s already mandated,” acting Comelec Cebu supervisor Eliseo Labaria said.
He said the start of Oplan Baklas which takes down illegally posted campaign materials depends on the election officer.
The Mandaue City Comelec office, for example, starts its campaign on April 5.
All campaign materials posted outside the common poster areas can be removed, not only by Comelec but by anyone.
“Now that the Mandaue office is starting it, the other offices will follow suit,” Labaria said.
The Comelec offices will coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in clearing out the illegally posted campaign materials.
Comelec will hold trainings for the local board of canvassers from April 4 to 7 next week.
Labaria said other Comelec offices will most likely implement Oplan Baklas the week after that.
Acting Toledo City election officer Gallardo Escobar said he still has to set a date on implementing Oplan Baklas in Toledo City.
Escobar was assigned to Toledo City from Talisay City this month, replacing lawyer Michael Angelo Sarno.
Acting San Fernando election officer Ferdinand Hortelano said the activity will be implemented by the last week of the month.
“We will have training for Board of Election Inspectors in the third week of April,” said Hortelano, also a trainer for BOCs.
Hortelano was the election officer of Consolacion town before he was reassigned to San Fernando replacing lawyer Rudy Gilos.
Acting Boljoon election officer Ma. Lina Pineda, who was assigned in Badian before, said they will start taking down illegally placed campaign posters in the town by the third or fourth week of the month.
Prohibited forms of election campaign materials include, but are not limited to, newspaper, newsletter, pamphlet, leaflet, bumper sticker, poster, comic book, streamer, sample list of candidates, or any published or printed political matter.
It is also illegal to post, display, or exhibit any election campaign materials outside authorized common poster areas, in public places, or in private property without consent of the owner.
Designated common poster areas include barangay centers, markets, plazas and the like where posters may be readily seen or read, with the heaviest pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic in the city or municipality.
Violators face penalties ranging from one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office.
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