By Alexandria San Juan
At least 90 percent of the 470,000 pieces of illegal campaign materials removed in the National Capital Region during “Oplan Baklas” were from Quezon City, the Metro Manila top police officer bared.
“We have reached more than 470,000 [pieces] na nabaklas na mga campaign materials in Metro Manila and 90 percent nito ay sa Quezon City (We have reached more than 470,000 [pieces] of removed campaign materials in Metro Manila and 90 percent of these were from Quezon City),” Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, said on Saturday.
Eleazar led the turnover of the confiscated illegal campaign materials in Quezon City to the City’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) during a ceremony at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) headquarters in Camp Karingal.
According to Police Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel Jr., QCPD chief, a total of 394,597 various illegal campaign materials were dismantled in Quezon City in its 360 operations during the period of Oplan Baklas from April 30 to May 9.
Almost 2,000 pieces of unlawful election materials were also confiscated during EPWMD’s removal operation.
Esquivel said Oplan Baklas was conducted in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in a bid to dismantle campaign materials illegally put up by supporters of candidates for the May 2019 elections as stated under the poll body’s Resolution No. 10488
Police particularly confiscated political campaign materials which were illegally tacked on trees and plastered on electric posts and other prohibited places.
Eleazar also reminded the public to refrain from violating election-related bans and activities, such as liquor ban and vote buying, as police officers will conduct extensive operations to arrest violators.
“Starting May 12, liquor ban for 48 hours will be implemented. Drinking and selling of liquor is prohibited. I would like to announce to the public that we are serious on this,” Eleazar warned.
The NCRPO chief added that distribution of sample ballots on Election Day is also prohibited and violators will be nabbed.
Eleazar also reminded the public not to engage in any vote-buying or vote-selling activities.
“For vote buying, I have given instructions relaying the direction of the PNP chief that the creation of a national task force on ‘Kontra Bigay’ has been effective. Not only in Metro Manila but also in other places,” he added.
In a resolution from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the May 2019 elections, “giving donations or gifts in cash or in kind by candidates, treasurers of parties, or their agents for any structure for public use or for the use of any religious or civic organization” is strictly prohibited during the campaign period up to the election day.
Among the prohibitions that the Comelec listed are campaigning; liquor ban, or the selling, buying, or taking of liquor; and giving or accepting free transportation, food or drinks, or things of value.
“We will intensify our campaign against vote buying, against liquor ban and Oplan Baklas na hindi pinapabayaan ang ating mga anti-criminality operations,” Eleazar assured.