ILOILO City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a synchronized Operation Baklas against illegal campaign materials across Western Visayas on April 15.
“We will be requiring all election officers to remove illegal campaign materials. Sabay-sabay ‘yan,” said Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros.
Campaign rules and regulations in Comelec Resolution No. 10488 must be enforced, he stressed, such as the size of posters, their display locations and the identification of campaign donors.
Election officers must make an inventory of the confiscated campaign materials, identify the concerned candidates and submit a report to the Comelec central office.
Mendros, however, admitted he was not sure what action the Comelec central office would take after receiving the reports.
It may be hard to pin down candidates most especially if they were not caught in the act of violating campaign rules and regulations, he said.
“They could easily say, ‘Hindi naman ako ang naglagay dyan, baka kalaban ko para ma-disqualify ako.’ So unless madakip namin in flagrante delicto, we cannot just assume na kanya or sya ang naglagay,” said Mendros.
He appealed to the candidates and their supporters to follow the rules.
“Very simple lang. You want to be a leader? Then you should lead in following the rules,” said Mendros.
Because election offices do not have enough personnel, Mendros said Operation Baklas may not be carried out every day.
The following are lawful election propaganda:
(a) pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed materials the sizes of which do not exceed eight and one-half inches in width and 14 inches in length
(b) handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any particular political party or candidate for public office
(c) posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard or any other materials, whether framed or posted, with an area not exceeding two feet by three feet
(d) streamers not exceeding three feet by eight feet in size displayed at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally; said streamers may be displayed five days before the date of the meeting or rally and shall be removed within 24 hours after said meeting or rally
(e) social media posts, whether original or re-posted from some sources, which may either be incidental to the poster’s advocacies of social issues or which may have, for its primary purpose, the endorsement of candidate only
(f) mobile units, vehicles, motorcades of all types, whether engine or manpower driven or animal drawn, with or without sound systems or loud speakers and with or without lights
(g) paid advertisement in broadcast, internet, mobile, print or outdoor media subject to the requirement set for Section 9 hereof and the Fair Elections Act
(h) in the headquarters and residences, candidates, law election paraphernalia may be displayed but banners or streamers referred to in paragraph (d) above shall not be allow
(i) all other form of election propaganda not prohibited by the Omnibus Election Code or these rules/PN