Senator Leila de Lima filed on Wednesday (August 1) a more detailed proposal against premature campaigning.
The bill specifies the acts that a local and national candidate should not do prior to the day of the election.
Among the acts constituting premature campaigning in De Lima’s proposal are:
– Endorsing any product or service whether for a fee or not;
– Appearing in any infomercial;
– Appearing in any documentary or movie whether for a fee or not;
– Appearing or guesting in any television or radio program, except for legitimate news coverage;
– Accepting any employment in any media outfit as a news anchor, writer or regular talent;
– Buying any print, radio, television or internet space to advertise himself or any product or service.
De Lima’s proposal gained the support of her colleagues as they agreed to the timeliness of the bill.
“Mayroon talagang undue advantage ang mayroong kakayahan na magtayo ng tarpaulin, lumabas po sa mga commercial,” said Senator Bam Aquino.
“Nagiging magastos na ang kampanya sa ating bansa, and obviously kung mahal ang pangangampanya at wala namang businesses ang mga pulitiko, saan nila babawiin yun?’ added Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri.
Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines states that any election campaign or partisan political activity outside campaign period “shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons,” except during the campaign period.
However, a Supreme Court (SC) decision in November 2009 over a disqualification case involving the mayor of Surigao Del Norte nullified premature campaigning as an election offense under the Automated Election Law. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo
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