Poll bets have until Feb. 14 to remove illegal campaign materials

By Ferdinand Patinio

February 13, 2019, 2:26 pm

MANILA -- Though the campaign period for the national positions only officially began Tuesday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given senatorial and party-list candidates and their supporters until Thursday to take down oversized and illegally-placed posters and tarpaulins.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said they are giving national candidates and their followers enough time to put down the prohibited materials.

“There were prior to the start of the campaign period big billboards in various locations on the day before and the start of the campaign period but they have been taken down. So there are efforts to comply with the rules and the reminders of the Comelec, which we appreciate,” he said in a forum in Manila on Wednesday.

Jimenez announced that they will start dismantling illegal campaign propaganda materials on Friday.

“On Friday, we will be documenting materials that are still in place and once we (have) completed our documentation run, that’s when we will start taking legal action against these violators,” he said.

Jimenez said candidates, regardless of whether they are directly or indirectly involved in the posting of illegal campaign materials, will be held liable.

“If the candidate or group has been informed of such violation, and if you are aware of the presence of these violative materials and you did not take it down or made no effort to take them down, then the law can presume you are taking advantage of that criminal act. You are there for just as good as the one who did it, you’re just as responsible,” Jimenez said.

The campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups for the May 13 mid-term elections will run from February 12 to May 11. (PNA)