ILOILO – Midterm election candidates and their supporters not following campaign rules and regulations may be charged with violating the Fair Elections Act (Republic Act 9006) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10488 on lawful election propaganda. The campaign period for senators and party-list groups starts today.
On the other hand, the campaign period for members of the House of Representatives and regional, provincial, city, and municipal officials begins on March 30.
According to Iloilo provincial election supervisor Atty. Roberto Salazar, 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
According to Salazar, political parties and candidates are also encouraged to use recyclable and environment-friendly materials and avoid those that contain hazardous chemicals and substances.
“May directive na ako sa tanan nga mga election officers to strictly implement Comelec Resolution No. 10488,” he said. “Indi lang ang kandidato ang liable but their supporters, too.”
Salazar said election offices of each town or city have also designated common poster areas – mostly plazas – where candidates should display their campaign materials.
He, however, clarified that private properties may also be displayed with campaign materials provided the owners have given their consent.
Salazar also reminded candidates to stick to the guidelines in the sizes of campaign posters.
“Although allowed sa mga private places pero dapat lawful. Ang campaign material indi mag-exceed sa size nga gina-indicate sa lawful election propaganda,” he stressed.
Regarding campaign expenses, Salazar said the following guidelines must be followed:
* for candidates with political party – P3 for every voter
* for other candidates without any political party and without support from any political party – P5 for every voter
* for political parties and party-list groups – P5 for every voter/PN