MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is asking media organizations to submit a report detailing political advertising on radio and television.
“Hihingi rin kami ng mas epektibong kooperasyon mula sa media entities na mag-submit sila ng report, as required by law, ng kontrata for advertisement ng kanilang mga kandidato,” Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said.
The Comelec official made the statement after the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down as being “arbitrary” the airtime limits on campaign ads imposed by the Comelec.
The high court unanimously junked the poll body’s resolution of summing up the total airtime of political advertisements instead of limiting the airtime per station, and declared parts of Comelec Resolution Nos. 9615 and 9361 as a violation of press freedom.
The resolutions set the following guidelines for political advertisements on radio and television:
For all national candidates, 120 minutes on all TV networks and 180 minutes on all radio stations
For all local candidates, 60 minutes in all TV networks and 90 minutes in all radio stations.
Prior to the resolutions issued before last year’s midterm elections, the guidelines referred to “per station” and not the “aggregate total” of the airtime limit.
Last year, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the two Comelec resolutions. GMA Network Inc., ABC Development Corporation, and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas were the petitioners in the case
While the airtime limits on campaign ads were removed, election spending remains capped, Guia emphasized on Wednesday.
“Syempre ang kailangang bantayan ay ‘yung gastusin na dapat bigyan ng limitasyon sa batas. Kung per station man ‘yun, dedepende sa pwedeng magastos ng kandidato sa paga-adverstise ng political campaigns nila,” he explained.
“Gusto ko lang i-emphasize, hindi spending ang nalimita, kun’ ‘di ‘yung use of airtime, ‘yung spending, pareho pa rin… Wala namang sinabing unconstitutional ‘yung sa decision kung magkano ang max limit of spending, it was only the airtime that was limited,” he added. (MNS)