Escudero supports Comelec strict enforcement

February 11, 2013 11:04 pm 

By Jelly Musico

MANILA, Feb. 11 — Sen. Francis Escudero Monday supported the Commission on Elections’ strict enforcement of its rule on campaign ad airtime.

“While we fully support the Comelec in its ruling to shorten the airtime that a political candidate may buy for campaign ads, it must also make sure that this rule is enforced strictly and without favor,” Escudero said.

The poll body had issued Resolution 9615 to “level the playing field” among political candidates by limiting the total airtime a candidate may buy for campaign ads to 120 minutes for television and 180 minutes for radio.

The Comelec’s rule also limits the size of print ads to one-fourth page for broadsheets and one-half page for tabloids.

“Leveling the playing field means no one gets undue advantage over the others just because he or she has more money to spend for advertising. But the rule will only work if the Comelec makes sure that it is enforced strictly, equally, and consistently,” Escudero said.

The senator also said the poll body should pay particular attention to online advertising because the medium remains a “gray area” of campaign advertising regulations.

“We cannot ignore the size and reach of the cyber universe, and it continues to grow every day. With its reach, the Internet must be closely monitored as well,” Escudero said.

Resolution 9615 spells out the size of ads a candidate may put out online and the frequency and duration of publication for the ad. Website owners or administrators are also required to submit certified true copies of broadcast or publication logs.

The campaign period for national and local candidates starts on Feb 12 and March 29, respectively. (PNA)

HBC/JFM

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