Comelec can’t stop GMA legacy ads
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo – at least her “legacy” advertisements – can stay a little longer.
Until the start of the campaign period for the local elections on Friday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it cannot ban President Arroyo’s “Ganito Tayo Noon, Ganito Tayo Ngayon” infomercials and other alleged campaign materials.
James Jimenez, Comelec spokesman, said Mrs. Arroyo or anyone seeking a local position cannot be considered a candidate until the start of the campaign period.
“There is no violation (on the part of the President) until the official start of the campaign period so those ads will stay until Friday,” Jimenez said in an interview.
President Arroyo is running for a seat in the House of Representatives representing Pampanga’s second district.
Earlier, Liberal Party senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros asked the Comelec to ban all Mrs. Arroyo’s advertisements, particularly her legacy ads, which she said have given the President undue advantage over her rivals.
Jimenez, however, stressed that the Comelec is set to notify all local candidates to remove all infomercials, streamers and other campaign materials starting Friday to avoid sanctions.
“Like in the national elections, we are calling on all local candidates to dismantle illegal campaign propaganda or we will charge them for election offense,” Jimenez said.
“We are giving local candidates, including the President, a little grace period to dismantle all illegal advertisements after which they will have to abide by the law or face charges,” Jimenez added.
Jimenez, however, admitted that the Comelec is expecting a surge in the number of infomercials and other illegal campaign materials before the start of the campaign period.
“Many of the local candidates will try to circumvent the law so we expect to see more illegal postings before we start regulating them,” Jimenez explained.
Jimenez reminded local candidates to be responsible and obey the law, particularly the regulation on campaign posters. – Mayen Jaymalin