2 party-list groups defy Comelec poster rules
MANILA - The Commission on Elections is now preparing subpoenas for Kabataan and Piston party-list groups following their failure to remove illegal campaign posters beyond the poll body's deadline.
Law department chair Esmeralda Ladra said the 2 party-list groups will be subjected to preliminary investigation by the law department, which will in turn make recommendations to the commission en banc on the filing of appropriate charges in court.
She said Comelec has been sending out notices every day to candidates.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said aside from the election offense case before a trial court, the parties will have to deal with the possible filing of a disqualification case based on the law department's recommendations.
"Criminal case is a long process. Matagal yan. Candidates should worry about disqualification. Pag nadisqualify namin sila, di kasama sa botohan, which means we will not count their votes. Remember kami may hawak ng ebidensiya. Chances ay kokonti lang kami complainant,” he said.
The Comelec chief said the poll body has been deluged by complaints, even more than their existing manpower can handle.
He said they are having "manpower issues" in the process of validating reports and complaints from the public on poster violations.
"Ang problem namin marami dumarating or problem nagkaka-manpower issue. Kailangan verify namin before we send notices. We're also getting assistance from some networks kaya mapupuno na kami,” he said.
Ladra said Team PNoy senatorial candidates Risa Hontiveros and Edward Hagedorn wrote to the poll body to say they will comply with the notices to remove their posters.
The candidates said they did not put up the posters in prohibited areas.
Ladra said the poll body has to validate compliance.
The poll chief is satisfied that the notices seem to have become a deterrent to candidates who may commit poster violations. He hopes this will set an example as the local candidates start their campaign end of the month.
“If we can show now in the national, we’re determined to go after violators, we will be more determined in the local,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Comelec en banc is still waiting for the law department's findings on the online iPad raffle of senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal.