Comelec reminds candidates to observe airtime limits to avoid election offense
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – National candidates for the 2019 midterm elections have started their campaign trails as the official campaign period kicks off Tuesday (February 12).
With this, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has reminded candidates to observe proper campaign rules to avoid committing an election offense.
In an interview with Daniel Razon on UNTV’s Digital Interactive Broadcast on Tuesday, Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez emphasized that the poll body will be strictly monitoring campaign ads on televesion, radio, print and even on social media.
Jimenez reminded candidates to be careful in gracing requests for appearance as they might fall into political advertising which can be counted against them.
Under Comelec Resolution 10488 in line with R.A. 9006 or the Fair Elections Act, candidates and registered political parties running for national elective position are given “not more than a total of 120 minutes of television advertising and 180 minutes of radio advertising.”
Candidates for local elective positions, meanwhile, are given “not more than 60 minutes of television advertising and 90 minutes of radio advertising”.
“Ang problema, nagagamit ang mga interviews, mga guesting para kunwari hindi siya ad. Kunwari interview nga siya o guest spot siya. There are cases na pwedeng ituring na parang advertising din iyon. Pangkaraniwan, ang pinakabroad na generalization natin dito is that it’s non-news,” Jimenez explained.
Jimenez clarified that interviews for news purposes are not considered campaigning.
However, the case is different for ‘non-news’ event.
“Halimbawa, may mahalagang event na relevenat naman sa kandidato, tapos na-interview siya tungkol doon, pwede kasing news event iyon. May sunog sa area niya, i-interview siya, hindi magiging isyu iyon,” he said.
“Pero kapag halimbawa niyaya siya sa isang variety show, that’s not a news event. Ituturing iyon na broadcast advertising. So iyong time na inilagi niya sa oras na iyon ay maaring maibawas sa kaniyang time limit,” he added.
The Comelec Spokesperson also enlightened the viewers how candidates’ appearances on television would fall to voters’ education and not an election offense.
Such is the case with UNTV’s invitation of election hopefuls in its program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon – a current affairs-talk show-reality show which provides a platform for controversial personalities such as election candidates to discuss relevant issues concerning them.
“The fact na iniimbita mo lahat, that means parang voter education iyan. That’s how I understand your goal to be. For the most part, hindi iyan maka-count,” Director Jimenez explained as he talked to Razon via Facetime.
“Ang nagkakaproblema lamang ay ang mga gumagawa niyan at ang iniimbita lamang ay ang mga kandidatong gusto lang nila. Nagkakaroon sila ng pagpili kung sino ang iimbitahan nila, sino ang kakausapin nila, iyon medyo malabo iyon. Kapag iniimbita naman lahat, it doesn’t really matter kung di dumarating lahat. Ang importante, inimbita lahat,” he clarified.
Prior to the start of official campaign, the poll body reminded all national candidates to take down campaign materials especially those hoisted or posted in unauthorized locations or non-common poster areas.
The poll body clarified, however, that the ‘Oplan Baklas’ at this point covers only national candidates because the campaign period for local candidates will begin on March 29.
“Kailangan idistinguish natin ang mga posters kung iyan ay for local candidates lang, hindi pa natin magagalaw iyan kasi sa March 29 pa ang start ng local campaign for them. Literally, okay pang andun yan,” Jimenez noted.
The Comelec spokesperson stressed that sanctions will be given to national candidates who will not heed the poll body’s policy of taking down illegal campaign materials.
“Kung national candidate yan, i-do-document natin. After three days, kung andyan pa, li-litratuhan natin to make sure na alam natin. We will document the materials that are still in place and then doon natin sila ngayon pepenahan . After that, once we are able to document, puwede na nating baklasin,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday that the voter registration for the next election is expected to resume on August 1, 2019 and will run until September 30, 2019.
“Voter registration is expected to run Aug 1 to Sept 30, 2019, inclusive of Saturdays & holidays,”Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a post on Twitter.
Jimenez said approximately two million new voters are expected to register in the said period.
“SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) voters need not register anew upon turning eighteen; their names will automatically be transferred to the regular List of Voters,” he added.
Comelec data showed there were more than 61 million registered voters in the last 2019 May Midterm polls. More than 18 million of the said number are from the youth sector or the so-called Millennials and Generation Z, born in the mid-90s and early 2000s.
The poll body has been urging Filipino voters to go out and exercise their right to suffrage in order to elect honest and deserving officials.
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019
Youth group, Millenials PH, has filed a petition with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seeking to disqualify former National Youth Commission chairperson Ronald Cardema as representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list.
According to Millenials PH, Cardema is already over the age limit to qualify as representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list .
Based on their 17-page petition, Cardema is already 34 years old which is over the set age limit for the party-list representatives of the youth sector which is 25 to 30 years old.
“Makikita na may material misrepresentation talaga na nangyari and ang representation talaga ng Duterte Youth ay youth sector (There really is a material misrepresentation. The representation of the Duterte Youth is the youth sector),” according to Millenials PH Spokesperson Aunell Ross Angcos.
Former Comelec Chairman Atty. Sixto Brillantes Jr., who accompanied the youth group to file the petition said Comelec should withhold Cardema’s certificate of proclamation.
“Dapat matanggal na muna ito at pumalit na ang tunay, iyong legitimate. Kaya kami pumirma rito. Willing kami i-prosecute ito diretso dito sa Comelec hanggang sa Supreme Court kung kailangan (It should be withheld first and should be replaced with the legitimate [representative]. So we signed here. We are willing to prosecute this straight to Comelec up to the Supreme Court if needed),” he said.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon previously said that the Duterte Youth party-list is registered as a youth sector party-list in the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, Cardema defended that Duterte Youth is registered as a party-list group to uplift the youth and professional sector which has no age limit.
Duterte Youth won one seat in Congress. However, five of the party-list nominees withdrew their nomination, including Cardema’s wife, Ducielle Marie Suarez.
The Comelec poll body is currently conducting a hearing for the petition against Cardema.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – At least five of the 12 winners in the 2019 Senatorial race have filed their Statement of Campaign Expenditures (SOCE) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, June 13.
Senators Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay led the filing of the SOCE based on Comelec records.
Villar, who clinched the number one spot with more than 25 million votes, filed her campaign expense report on June 11 or two days before the deadline set by Comelec.
Binay, who finished 12th in the race also filed her SOCE last June 11.
Poe, who nestled at the second spot, submitted her report in the afternoon of June 13, as well as Senators-elect Bong Go and Pia Cayetano, who finished third and fourth in the Senate race, respectively.
Comelec said that most of the winning and losing candidates in the May midterm polls were able to beat the SOCE filing deadline.
Section 14 of Republic Act 1766 requires every candidate and political party to file with the Commission the full, true and itemized Soce within 30 days after the election day.
Also required to file such document are those whose campaigns were self-funded, those who did not incur any expenditure, and those who did not pursue their campaign activities even after filing their candidacies or those who withdrew their candidacies.
The poll body said that based on Comelec resolution 10505, the office of an elected candidate who failed to submit the required documents shall be considered vacant pursuant to Section 11 of the Omnibus Election Code until he/she has complied within six months from the proclamation.
“They cannot assume office until they submitted their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures,” said Atty. Efraim Bag-id, acting director of Comelec campaign finance office.
The poll body emphasized the importance of the filing of SOCE as this will help them determine whether candidates and political parties followed the set campaign spending limits.
The Comelec resolution also states that winning candidates and party-lists with late SOCE filing but still within the period of six months shall be charged with lower administrative fines, depending on the position sought by the candidate.
Losing candidates, meanwhile, who failed to submit their SOCE will be meted out an administrative fine of P10,000.
“Iyong mga kandidato na natalo at hindi nakapagsumite ng kanilang Soce, depende po ito kung first timer po sila o second timer. Kapag first timer, administrative po iyan. Kapag 2 or more na beses na hindi sila nakapag- file ng kanilang SOCE e maliban sa administrative fine, they are perpetually disqualified to hold public office whether elective or appointed position,” Bag-id said.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, 20 candidates for the Senate., 50 party-list groups and three political parties have already filed their Soce.
Comelec said other candidates and political parties may submit their Soce before the campaign finance office until 8 p.m. of June 13. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
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