Joseph Victor Ejercito-Estrada of the United Nationalist Alliance leads senatorial candidates in poster violations after almost two months of campaigning.
The Commission on Elections’ legal department has sent eight notices to Estrada asking him to remove campaign materials found in places not designated as common poster areas.
The other senatorial candidates with the most number of notices for violations are Team Pnoy’s Juan Edgardo Angara, Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino and Bangon Pilipinas’ Eduardo Villanueva.
The poll body has so far recorded 56 poster violations among 23 of the 33 senatorial candidates, and 73 violations by 35 party-lists running in the May 13 elections.
Despite the mounting violations, the Comelec has managed to file only a handful of cases against party-lists and Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr admitted he was dismayed at the slow pace of building and filing cases.
The Comelec has been strict in enforcing the rules on campaigning but it does not have enough people to investigate the cases.
One party-list, Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (BUHAY) is undergoing preliminary investigation, while three others are facing cancellation of their accreditation for repeated violations. They are Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association (LPGMA), Kabataan and PISTON party-lists.
Resolution 9615, Comelec’s implementing rules for RA 9006 or the Fair Election Act, limits the posting of campaign propaganda to common poster areas and private property with the consent of the owner. Common poster areas include plazas, markets and barangay centers.
Under the rules, a candidate who receives a notice has three days to take down the illegally-posted materials or face the prospect of being slapped an election offense case which carries a penalty of up to six years in prison. – Mikha Flores, VERA Files
(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)