Comelec welcomes SC's decision on no airtime limit on television and radio advertisements of national and local candidates

September 4, 2014 7:00 am 

MANILA, Sept. 3 — Although the Supreme Court (SC) has allowed no airtime limit on campaign advertisements on television and radio, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that they still have control over the campaign expenses of candidates.

"Anyway, we still have control over campaign expenses. There is no limit on airtime but there is still limit on campaign expenses. We will just look after their (candidates) campaign expenses," said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, in an interview Wednesday.

He also welcomed the High Court's decision saying that they will follow the ruling.

"That's the Supreme Court, we will abide by it. Anyway, there is no effect legally when we issued Comelec Resolution 9615 as amended by Resolution 9631, before the May 2013 polls. It was not implemented since the SC issued a temporary retraining order," Brillantes explained.

The poll body chief noted what they plan to do is to issue a new resolution for 2016 that would coincide with the High Tribunal's decision.

"What we would do is to read and study the ruling and issue a resolution for 2016, that will match the SC ruling," Brillantes added.

However, he admitted that he was disappointed since the purpose of limiting the airtime is to level the playing field among candidates with money and those without.

On Tuesday, the High Court has made permanent the TRO it issued last year, stopping the implementation of the poll body order.

The SC declared unconstitutional part of the Resolution which gives national candidates 120 minutes in aggregate airtime on TV networks and 180 minutes in radio stations and local candidates 60 minutes in TV networks and 90 minutes in radio stations.

The petitions were filed by GMA Network Corp., ABC Development Corp. and Senator Allan Peter Cayetano. (PNA)

FPV/FGP/UTB

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