MANILA - Detained Sen. Leila de Lima has filed a bill that seeks to penalize prospective candidates from engaging in premature campaigning.
Senate Bill No. 1893 seeks to redefine activities considered as early campaigning and hold liable prospective candidates who engage in such within a year prior to the scheduled polls.
De Lima said the proposed measure also aims to arm the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in identifying and penalizing any potential candidate who will engage in premature campaigning.
"Prospective candidates may be held liable for premature campaigning within one year before the start of the campaign period," she said in her proposed measure.
Under Republic Act No. 9369, a person who seeks to run for elective office shall only be considered a candidate once the campaign period begins.
The current Omnibus Election Code also states that prospective candidates for elective office do not commit "premature campaigning" if they have not filed their certificate of candidacy since they cannot be considered a candidate prior to it.
Under De Lima's bill, the following acts are considered as forms of early campaigning if done a year before the scheduled polls:
· Endorsing any product or service whether for a fee or not
· Appearing in any infomercial
· Appearing in any documentary or movie whether for a fee or not
· Appearing or guesting in any television or radio program, except for purposes of legitimate news coverage
· Accepting any employment in any media outfit as a news anchor, writer, or regular talent
· Buying any print, radio, television or internet space to advertise him/herself or any product or service
- report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News