‘Operation Baklas’; Comelec-Bacolod, NegOcc started removing illegal campaign materials 

Posted by watchmen
October 23, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE

By Mae Singuay

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental have started conducting Operation Baklas, a nationwide simultaneous removal of illegal campaign materials for the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on October 30.

Kathrina Trinio-Caña, Comelec-Bacolod elections officer, said they conducted the operation last October 20, a day after the campaign period for the BSKE started.

Trinio-Caña said they have already been to some barangays in the city, and removed several illegal campaign materials, particularly those hanging on electric posts and trees.

Comelec-Bacolod now accounts for poll candidates whose names appeared in the removed campaign materials.

The report will be forwarded to Comelec’s legal department.

Trinio-Caña said concerned candidates may face disqualification upon removal of his/her illegal campaign materials.

During the filing of certificates of candidacy and before the start of the campaign period, the political aspirants were reminded to voluntarily remove their illegal campaign posters.

“So we have the presumption that these illegal campaign materials removed have consent, even if [the candidates] will defend that it was done by their opponents,” Trinio-Caña said.

She also reminded candidates to follow the mandatory size for campaign materials, which is two by three feet.

City Legal Office head Romeo Carlos Ting, Jr. said he deployed some personnel from the City Enforcement Team to augment with Comelec’s Operation Baklas.

Another simultaneous operation will be conducted on October 27.

Meanwhile, Ian Lee Ananoria, Comelec-Negros Occidental elections supervisor, said they also joined the nationwide drive to remove illegal campaign materials last October 20.

Ananoria said several campaign materials hung outside common poster areas and private properties were removed.

He instructed the provincial election officers to dismantle illegal campaign materials, particularly on waiting sheds and trees along public places and highways.

Some of the prohibited election materials include billboards, oversized tarpaulins, posters which violate gender sensitivity principles, and campaign materials that do not bear the words “political advertisement paid for/by” or “printed free of charge.”

During the campaign period, which will run until October 28, candidates are prohibited from distributing giveaways, such as t-shirts, bags, caps, sun visors, hats, and umbrellas to voters.

They must also adhere to displaying campaign posters in designated common poster areas only./MS, WDJ

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