Comelec starts removing oversized campaign posters

By Carmel Loise Matus |April 13,2016 - 10:47 PM
Regional Comelec director Jose Nick Mendros (center) and Cebu City Comelec officer Marcel Sarno (right) lead the removal of illegally sized and placed election posters and tarpaulins. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Regional Comelec director Jose Nick Mendros (center) and Cebu City Comelec officer Marcel Sarno (right) lead the removal of illegally sized and placed election posters and tarpaulins. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

MORE than a month and several weeks after the start of the campaign period for national and local candidates, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finally started removing oversized and illegally placed campaign posters.

Regional Comelec director Jose Nick Mendros said they convinced private building owners to remove the tarpaulins of national candidates hung outside their premises that went beyond the required 2mx3m or 12 feet x 16 feet size.

Among those removed were tarpaulins of senatorial candidate Panfilo Lacson that were mounted on a private building near Robinsons Galleria and a tarpaulin of Sen. Grace Poe at her headquarters along Gorordo Avenue.

They also removed a tarpaulin of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte mounted on a building fronting the fruit stand in Banilad area.

Campaign materials of local candidates in Cebu City like Mayor Michael Rama, Tomas Osmeña, and that of Barangay Tinago chairman Joel Garganera were also removed.

These posters had been placed on residential areas.

Mendros said it took time to talk to the owners of the residential houses to remove the posters voluntarily.

“We were very courteous to ask them to remove it,” he said.

Mendros said those tarpaulins and campaign posters that were removed were given to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for disposal.

Mendros continued to remind the candidates to follow the law.

“We wish to reiterate our continued call to our candidates to do away in putting up posters on trees, posts . . .  They (candidates) should follow the law,” he said.

The removal of illegally sized and placed campaign materials is part of the “Oplan Baklas” that started at 7 p.m. and ended at 12 midnight last Tuesday.

Two teams composed of personnel from the Comelec, DPWH, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) were each assigned to cover Cebu City’s north and south districts.

Two trucks provided by the DPWH were used to haul the posters and other campaign materials that were removed.

There was no operation conducted yesterday as the teams rested, Mendros said.

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