By Leslie Ann Aquino
Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and senatorial aspirant Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and those behind the movie on his life story should make sure it will not be shown during the campaign period of the May 13, 2019 midterm polls.
This is so as not to violate election rules.
“(It) should not be exhibited or played in theaters at all during the campaign period,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez said in an interview.
“If showing, whether or not there’s a boycott, there will still be a violation of election rules,” he added.
Based on Republic Act No. 9006 or the “Fair Elections Act”, no movie, cinematography or documentary portraying the life or biography of a candidate shall be publicly exhibited in a theater, television station, or any public forum during the campaign period.
Violation of the prohibition shall be considered as an election offense, which carries the penalty of one to six years imprisonment, disqualification to hold public office, and removal of their right of suffrage.
The “Bato: The Gen. Ronald dela Rosa Story” is expected to be shown in cinemas this year.
Under Republic Act No. 9369 “any person who files his certificate of candidacy shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period”.
The campaign period for those running for national posts is from Feb. 12 to May 11, 2019.
For local positions, the campaign period is from March 29 to May 11, 2019.
To note, the Comelec has yet to release the final list of candidates for the May polls but Dela Rosa’s name was included in the tentative list of candidates for senator that was released in November.