Comelec’s Operation Baklas slated

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Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez over the weekend reiterated his warning that poll bets who refuse to voluntarily remove their unlawful campaign materials will face appropriate sanctions.

Jimenez said candidates should start removing their illegal campaign posters because their office’s education and information division will soon launch Operation Baklas.

The operation will be conducted along with the Department of Public Works and Highways and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

The 90-day campaign period for senatorial candidates and partylist groups starts on 12 February and all illegal campaign posters should be removed by then.

There are 62 candidates vying for the 12 slots in the Senate while 134 partylist groups are gunning for seats in the House of Representatives.

As it is, Comelec Resolution 10429 sets the 45-day campaign period for local bets from 29 March to 11 May.

The 90-day campaign period for senatorial candidates and partylist groups starts on 12 February and all illegal campaign posters should be removed by then.

Jimenez warned that the Comelec will hold candidates and parties accountable for illegal campaign materials, even if they claim that those posters were put up by others without their knowledge.

“If the materials are still up after the start of the campaign period, then it can be presumed they are up because candidates allow them to remain up,” he said.

He added they already sent letters to the political parties and candidates, advising them of the need to take down their campaign materials.

Jimenez also said they noticed that many of these campaign materials are also situated in places that are outside the common poster areas.

Posters may be put up in private property but this must have the permission of the owner and the required size of the materials will also have to be observed.

Comelec Resolution 10429, promulgated on 1 October 2018 sets the campaign period for national candidates from 12 February to 11 May this year.

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