Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto’s order to remove all tarpaulins of local and national aspirants in public places has encouraged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to do the same on a nationwide basis.
On Monday, Dec. 6, the PNP issued. statement saying it will consult the Commission on Elections (Comelec) if there are requests from public officials or candidates to take down election paraphernalia.
From there, PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said all police personnel will take the initiative of removing the tarpaulins and other campaign materials especially those in public places.
“If there is a go signal from the Comelec and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), then we will assist in the removal of these materials. We just wanted to maintain our neutrality, so in every crucial action there must have the authority of the Comelec,” said Carlos
Sotto has already ordered to remove the election-related materials on public property in Pasig City.
This as thousands of what were perceived to be early campaign materials have been placed in various areas of Pasig City, But the situation is also the same in almost all areas in the country.
Law enforcement agencies, however, are helpless on this ploy of some aspirants since such move is not covered by early campaigning rules.
The start of the campaign period for national candidates will be in February while March for local candidates.
“The PNP is aware of the campaign materials being mounted even in conspicuous places, but the Comelec guidelines enumerated those areas where these materials are prohibited,” said Carlos.
“One thing is for sure, we won’t allow these campaign materials to be posted on police stations and offices. The PNP will immediately order the removal of such,” he added.