LAGAWE, Ifugao – To protect candidates from future administrative or criminal actions initiated by opposing candidates or the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) due to inadvertent violations of election campaign and finance rules, the Provincial Election Supervisor reiterates to candidates for the May 9, 2016 elections and printing press companies to comply with the provisions of the COMELEC laws.
PES Ricardo Bulintao made this reminder in an advisory sent to the different municipalities through the Municipal Election Officers (MEOs).
The rule pertain particularly on the sizes of poster, pamphlets, leaflets, cards, stickers or decals, streamers and the submission of Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs).
Posters he said must not exceed 2 feet by 3 feet in size while pamphlets, leaflets, cards, stickers or decals must not exceed 8 1/2 inches width by 14 inches length and streamers should not exceed 3 feet by 8 feet.
The streamers also are not for permanent posting but only for temporary posting at the place of public meeting or rally of the candidate and maybe displayed five days before the date of such meeting or rally and shall be removed within 24 hours after the activity.
These campaign paraphernalia should also bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible word “POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT PAID FOR” followed by the true name and address of the candidate or party whose benefit the material was printed.
It is likewise unlawful to publish, print or distribute these campaign materials unless they bear and are identified by the legible words “political advertisement paid by” followed by the true name and address of the payor or donor including the phrase “this material should be recycled” which is required to be indicated in the printed election propaganda.
Moreover, printed posters or advertisements donated to candidates shall not be printed without the written acceptance of the candidate which shall be attached to the printing contract and submitted to the COMELEC. These printed election advertisements donated or given free by any person or publishing firm or party without the written acceptance of the candidate shall not be printed, published or exhibited unless by the words “printed free of charge” with the number of pieces of such printed propaganda indicated in the material.
Posters must also be posted only in areas designated for the purpose by the MEOs but no direct posting on existing public structures so that the candidates and parties have to set up their sign boards not exceeding 12 feet by 16 feet for parties and party-list and 4 feet by 6 feet for independent candidates within the poster area as their posting sites.
There should also be no posting on trees, electric posts, existing public structures, bridges, school premises and transport terminals.
Bulintao also reminded that each candidate whether winning or losing, must submit not later than June 8, 2016 to the COMELEC office where they filed their certificate of candidacy their SOCEs with all the required annexes and receipts accomplished strictly in accordance with the COMELEC Resolution No. 9991.
Handwritten accomplishment of SOCEs and its annexes is no more allowed and any submitted SOCE with incomplete attachment, with discrepancies in figures or total, unsigned or not accomplished in accordance with the requirement shall be considered not filed and the corresponding penalties imposed.
Bulintao also said that the COMELEC through its newly created Campaign Finance Office will strictly monitor compliance with these rules and ignorance of these warning may produce bitter and miserable consequences/JDP/DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao