Comelec to regulate campaign colors as poll propaganda

Posted at 01/23/13 9:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Apart from election propaganda on the Internet, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will also regulate campaign colors for the May polls.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said yesterday that the poll body would monitor television personalities who may be wearing colors that are identified with certain candidates.

“We will ask them, are you being paid to wear that? Who is paying you? If you wear (the same color) almost every day, practically it’s like campaigning. It’s like you are putting up posters,” he said.

Brillantes said this strategy will be tried out during an “observation period among senatorial bets.”

The Comelec earlier said it would regulate election propaganda on the Internet, including social networking site Facebook and micro-blogging platform Twitter.

Aside from this, the poll body also came up with a policy that limits the airtime for candidates on radio and television to an aggregate of 120 hours and 180 hours, respectively.

Brillantes admitted that while they want to implement campaign rules strictly, there are still aspects that need clarification, such as online campaigning and the issue of campaign color. But he said that on the aspects of poster size, poster areas and airtime limits, the rules are clear.

The Comelec also said that candidates should remove “prematurely placed election propaganda” before the campaign period starts on Feb. 12 and March 30 for those vying for national and local posts, respectively.

Brillantes clarified that the Comelec is only requiring “prior notice” and not “prior consent” from broadcast stations about the guesting of or interviews with candidates, to “check if it would fall under propaganda on legitimate interviews on issues.”

True colors

Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Party (LP) asked the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) yesterday to show its true colors by declaring whether it is the political opposition or a faithful partner of the Aquino administration.

Speaking for LP, party spokesman Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said UNA “cannot straddle two horses by foisting the grand deception upon our voters that it remains fully supportive of President Aquino while undermining his ‘daang matuwid (straight path)’ agenda with its leaders’ incessant attacks on his reform programs.”

He also said UNA could not claim to be a genuine partner of the Aquino administration while undermining the Office of the President’s punitive actions against erring local government officials and coming out with a political advertisement virtually claiming that the President has done nothing for the poor in the first half of his presidency.

UNA, on the other hand, assailed yesterday the LP, led by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, for ordering LP and UNA’s common senatorial candidates to snub the campaign sorties of UNA.

The common candidates adopted by UNA and LP are Grace Llamanzares-Poe, Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero. – With Evelyn Macairan, Jess Diaz, Jose Rodel Clapano