MANILA, Philippines - Presidential candidates Sen. Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan Party and Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas are facing possible disqualification for allegedly having oversized campaign posters
and for displaying them outside designated poster areas.
“We took pictures of the posters, dismantled and submitted them to our legal department for appropriate action,” James Jimenez, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman, said.
He said the posters were displayed along ESDA, which is not among the common poster areas designated by the Comelec.
Jimenez said posting of illegal campaign materials is punishable under the Omnibus Election Code by disqualification.
Jimenez also called on other national and local candidates to immediately dismantle illegally posted streamers, billboards and other campaign materials to avoid sanction, including possible disqualification from seeking public office.
“They have to dismantle all illegally posted campaign materials or risk disqualification,” he said.
Jimenez also clarified that the Comelec has not imposed a ban on the posting of streamers and other materials bearing the images of former president Corazon Aquino and the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino.
“There is no ban on posters and streamers of former President Aquino and the late Sen. Aquino. What I have said is we’re contemplating on recommending the removal of their posters considering the state of those materials,” Jimenez explained.
Jimenez pointed out that the streamers were posted along EDSA to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the People Power Revolution as well as the death of Mrs. Aquino late last year.
“They have already served their purposes and those events were already over and if they will not be removed it would give undue advantage to a leading presidential candidate which other bets do not have access to,” Jimenez said, referring to Aquino’s son and Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Jimenez said the Manila City government had already removed the streamers even before the Comelec could submit its request. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who is running for reelection, is an acknowledged ally of Sen. Aquino.
The Metro Manila Development Authority, for its part, has started removing the Aquino posters on EDSA citing the “danger” they pose to motorists.
MMDA chairman Oscar Inocentes said he has ordered the removal of the posters because many of them are already in tatters and are slipping off their bamboo frames.
He added the posters “no longer serve a purpose” because the EDSA commemoration has long passed.
Inocentes also stressed that the Comelec has deputized the MMDA to tear down posters or streamers displayed outside designated common areas.
Meanwhile, the MMDA is threatening to go to court to stop the Comelec from repainting footbridges and urinals in Metro Manila from their present green color. Inocentes insisted that green is the color of the MMDA, and is “also cooler to the eyes unlike pink which can easily fade.”
Jimenez was earlier quoted as saying that green is closely associated with Lakas-Kampi-CMD’s standard-bearer, Gilberto Teodoro.
Before they were repainted green, Metro Manila’s footbridges and urinals were colored pink, which was associated with former MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando. With Mike Frialde