Comelec to go after 'cyber-epals'
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will start going after “cyber-epals” or excessive political campaigns on the internet once the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections begins.
In his Twitter account, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the poll body has approved Resolution 9615 which includes expenses for online campaigns in the coverage of campaign finance laws.
Brillantes explained in successive tweets that, “We overhauled our rules on campaign & election propaganda; it is a significant departure from our rules in the last two elections. In a lot of ways, the new rules on campaign/propaganda will be much stricter; many anti-epal provisions were included. “
“We have closely integrated it with our rules on campaign finance--which is Comelec’s top priority in the coming election. One significant feature is that we will be monitoring online election propaganda for the first time,” he added.
Brillantes concluded, “And trees will be much happier under our new rules on election propaganda. #COMELEC #Reso9615”.
The synchronized elections law provides:
“Section 13. Authorized Expenses of Candidates and Political Parties. - The agreement amount that a candidate or registered political party may spend for election campaign shall be as follows:
(a) For candidates. - Ten pesos (P10.00) for President and Vice-President; and for other candidates Three Pesos (P3.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That a candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend Five Pesos (P5.00) for every such voter; and
(b) For political parties. - Five pesos (P5.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.”
The campaign period begins February 12 for national positions and March 29 for local positions.
Brillantes, however, said, “While d campaign period for local candidates under d law starts March 29, 2013, take note that it coincides w/ d observance of Good Friday. Since campaign on a Good Friday is expressly prohibited by law, local candidates cannot officially campaign until March 30, 2013. Take note.”