Candidates get ‘grace period’ to remove illegal posters

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2019 01:37 PM

MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given candidates for senator and party-list until tomorrow, Feb. 14, to take down illegal campaign posters, warning it would start taking legal action afterward.

Candidates received a 3-day grace period after many of them made an effort to comply with the rules against oversized or misplaced campaign posters, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

The campaign period for national candidates officially began Feb. 12. 

“We’re going to give them the opportunity to take those down,” Jimenez told a media forum.

But starting Friday, the Comelec would deploy several teams to document violations then take “legal action,” he said.

“If you’re aware of the presence of those violative materials, and you still did not take them down, or made no effort to take them down, then the law can presume that you are taking advantage of that criminal act, that you are actually benefiting from it," he said.

These campaign materials are also monitored to determine if they fall within the spending limits for candidates, he said.

Under the law, those running with political parties are allowed to spend P3 for every registered voter. Independent candidates can spend P5 per voter.

“The candidates themselves have to make sure that they know who these donors are and they approve of these donations, knowing that the value of the donations will be counted against their spending limit,” Jimenez said.

Since urging the public to report illegal campaign posters last Monday, the Comelec has been receiving tweeted photos of alleged violations.

Jimenez also tweeted a copy of his letter warning mall owners against showing films promoting candidates.

The Fair Elections Act prohibits during the campaign period the public exhibition of “any type of performance portraying the life or biography of a candidate.”