By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections together with various government agencies has started taking down illegally-sized and placed campaign materials of candidates Thursday.
Among those that were taken down are the tarpaulins of former senator Bong Revilla and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go which were placed on an electric post.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10488, campaign posters should be no more than 2×3 feet and posted or displayed only in designated common poster areas or in private property with the consent of the owner.
Public places where campaign propaganda is prohibited include LED and LCD monitors on walls of public buildings; motor vehicles owned by LGUs and GOCCs; public transport vehicles owned and controlled by the government such as the MRT, LRT and PNR; waiting sheds, sidewalks, street and lamp posts, electric posts and wires, traffic signage and other signboards erected on public property, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, flyovers, bridges, main thoroughfares, center islands of roads and highways; schools, public shrines, barangay halls, government offices, health centers; and within the premises of public transport terminals owned and controlled by the government.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the candidates were earlier given a chance to remove the election materials but some have not complied.
“They were given notice regarding these materials. Meaning they were given the chance to remove these materials,” he said in a press briefing.
“There are those that complied on their own. That is commendable. But there are areas where candidates have yet to comply despite the notice. That is where we will go today,” added Jimenez.
He then explained what they will do during the “Operation Baklas.”
“We will go to the identified areas and we will document the materials that are in violation of our campaign rules. We will then remove it. Then, we will preserve the materials that we removed as these will be used as evidence in the cases that will be filed after today,” Jimenez said.
“We will identify these violators,” he added.
Earlier, the poll body started monitoring the illegal campaign materials of senators and partylist groups running in the May 13 midterm polls following the start of the campaign period for national candidates.
The campaign period for national candidates started February 12 and will end on May 11.
The massive “Operation Baklas” in Metro Manila was conducted in cooperation with the Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Metro Manila Development Authority.