High court halts new limits on political ads

·Kim Arveen Patria
Philippine workers discared election banners and posters at a depot in Manila on May 11, 2010. The Philippines is set to regulate Internet advertising in May mid-term polls as part of an effort to rein in campaign spending, according to election officials

Politicians only have less than a month to campaign for the elections but they may now again bombard media with advertisements.

In a decision, Supreme Court stopped the Commission on Elections from further cutting airtime limits for political ads.

The high court decision halted the implementation of Comelec Resolution 9615 and its amendments, which redefine rules on campaigns ads over radio and television.

The resolution hoped to limit national candidates' airtime to only 120 minutes across all TV networks and 180 across all radio stations.

Meanwhile, local candidates are entitled to 60 minutes across all TV networks and 90 minutes across all radio stations.

The use of "aggregate total" reduced candidates' exposure from an earlier system which imposed the limit per TV network or radio station.

The poll body had noted that the old airtime allotment was excessive, and led to campaign overspending.

The Supreme Court issued the halt order following appeals from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, as well as broadcast networks GMA-7, TV5.

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