Comelec asked to stop GMA vanity ads
By Ding Cervantes
The Philippine Star
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga , Philippines – Senatorial candidate and Akbayan party list Rep. Risa Hontiveros has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ban President Arroyo’s “vanity ads,” which she called “unlawful campaign propaganda.”
“The use of taxpayers’ money for one’s vanity ads, especially if they are designed to court voters, is wrong and should be declared illegal by the Comelec,” Hontiveros said in a petition filed last Monday.
She said “the Office of the President instigated an advertisement binge to promote GMA’s legacy shortly after she filed her candidacy to run for congresswoman in Pampanga’s second district.”
She cited as example the infomercial “Ganito Tayo Noon, Ganito Tayo Ngayon” which, she said, “proves that the congressional contest in Pampanga is skewed in favor of GMA (President Arroyo).”
Hontiveros noted in her petition that while “regular candidates are given restrictions on advertising and campaign collaterals, President Arroyo is unfairly and unconstitutionally given special treatment.”
She lamented that “funds that should be used for crucial programs are being diverted to finance Pres. GMA’s campaign.”
“Using the mantle of the Office of the President, her tarps can be longer, her posters can be bigger, and her TV commercials can exceed the time limit,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio joined the launching of Akbayan’s “Deny the Arroyo Five Campaign” which seeks to block the election of Mrs. Arroyo and four of her relatives in Congress.
“President Arroyo cannot fully represent constituents in the second district since her hands will be full answering charges to be filed against her once she steps down from the presidency,” Panlilio said. – With Mayen Jaymalin