Comelec in Cebu City removes candidates’ illegally installed campaign materials

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ONLY a few campaign materials were removed during the Oplan Baklas operations in Cebu City on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.

Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cebu City said majority of the campaign materials they removed were tarpaulins and posters that were illegally installed in public areas.

Cebu City North District Assistant Election Officer Jun Bendulo said the number of removed materials was fewer compared to previous elections since the Comelec is no longer allowed to remove posters inside private properties or establishments.

Last March 8, the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order that prohibits the Comelec from removing tarpaulins installed in private properties.

Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo questioned the constitutionality of the poll body’s Oplan Baklas stating that it violates the freedom of speech.

According to Bendulo, they only removed posters that were attached to trees, utility posts and bridges.

Bendulo also clarified that no political candidates were spared from the operation since the Comelec is non-partisan.

The team of Bendulo operated in Barangays Lorega, Mabolo, Kasambagan, Talamban, Apas, Kamputhaw and Capitol Site.

Bendulo said this was only a one-time operation unless another directive will come from the Comelec’s national office.

“I urge supporters not to attach [campaign materials] to posts, do it in private places instead,” said Bendulo in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Comelec Resolution 10730 states that campaign posters should not be bigger than two feet by three feet and should only be displayed in authorized common poster areas in public places, or on private properties with the consent of the owners.

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