Liberal Party (LP) senatorial bet Risa Hontiveros and independent candidate Edward Hagedorn told the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that they have removed their “illegal” campaign posters.
“We received letters na nag-comply sila but whether or not they complied is another question,” lawyer Esmeralda Amora-Ladra, head of the Comelec law department, told reporters on Monday.
The notice for Hontiveros, who was found to have illegal campaign posters in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, was received on February 20 while the notice for Hagedorn, who allegedly has an illegal poster along Osmeña Highway in Manila, was received on February 21.
However, Ladra said the two claimed that they were not the ones who put these up.
“May letter but yung pagtanggal talaga is another matter that we have to check through the monitoring teams of the EID,” she said.
The Comelec’s Education and Information Department (EID) monitors the posting of campaign materials nationwide.
Failure to remove illegal campaign propaganda constitutes an election offense that is punishable under Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code. The provision states that any person found guilty of any election offense shall be punished with imprisonment from one to six years and shall not be subject to probation.
On the other hand, Section 6 of Republic Act 7941 (Party-list System Act) states that “the Comelec may motu proprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition” that “violates or fails to comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections,” among other grounds.
Ladra could not immediately say how many candidates and party-list groups have so far been issued notices by the poll body.
“Every day nagpapadala kami ng notices,” she said.
“If there is a report we will take it up in the en banc,” Brillantes told reporters on Monday.
Brillantes said that they have not yet received any official communication from Maceda.