40 Senate bets have illegal campaign materials: Comelec

MANILA — More than half of the total of 62 senatorial candidates have been identified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as having illegal propaganda materials.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said 40 aspirants in the senatorial race have been found to have posters violating election laws.

“34 plus 6 senatorial candidates have illegal posters, as of yesterday (Thursday),” she said in her Twitter account, @commrguanzon.

The candidates are Ferdinand P. Aguilar, Ibrahim H. Albani, Gary C. Alejano, Richard U. Alfajora, Rafael Alunan III, Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, Ernesto R. Arellano, Marcelino P. Arias, Bernard F. Austria, Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, Edmundo Vicente G. Casiño, Pilar Julianna S. Cayetano, Glenn A. Chong, Neri J. Colmenares, Jose Manuel Tadeo I. Diokno, Jose Victor G. Ejercito, Jinggoy E. Estrada, Lorenzo G. Gadon, and Conrado I. Generoso.

Also included in the list were Florin T. Hilbay, Leborio M. Jangao,Jr., Rodolfo Javellana, Jr., Manuel M. Lapid, Romulo B. Macalintal, Emily T. Mallillin, Faisal M. Mangondato, Zajid G. Mangudadatu, Jose Sonny G. Matula, Luther G. Meniano, Allan S. Montaño, Willie T. Ong, Serge DR Osmeña III, Aquilino Martin DelaLlana Pimentel III, Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares, Danilo V. Roleda, Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Francis N. Tolentino, Antonio AS. Valdes, and Cynthia A. Villar.

On the other hand, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez noted that candidates that have been found to have illegal campaign materials will be given the opportunity to comply with existing campaign rules.

“We are just informing them of our guidelines and are giving them warnings to comply. After their receipt of the notices, they need to take actions immediately,” he said in a media forum in Manila.

“If they don’t take action with their violations, then that becomes reportable. For now, we are just giving them the opportunity to clean up their violations,” the poll body official added.

Meanwhile, the Comelec on Friday has started its monitoring and documentation of illegal propaganda materials around Metro Manila.

Two teams have been dispatched to make rounds in northern and southern parts of Metro Manila, (North Loop) starting from Intramuros, Manila, Avenida, Rizal, C.M. Recto, Tondo, C3, Del Monte Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, EDSA, NLEX and (South Loop) Intramuros, Manila Taft Avenue, Sta. Ana, Pandacan, Pasay, SLEX.

Jimenez added they will be sending notices to candidates who have been found to have illegal campaign materials.

“We will write a letter informing the candidates of these violations and tell them to comply with our campaign regulations,” he said.

Aside from documenting illegal campaign materials, Jimenez added they will also be immediately taken down.

“As soon as we documented the material, we take it down to minimize its effect on the electorate,” he said.

They are after oversized campaign materials and those that are not placed in common poster areas.

Violations of campaign rules shall be tantamount to an election offense, which carries the penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office. (PNA)