PHILIPPINE National Police agents across the country have been ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government to join the Commission on Elections in its drive against illegal campaign materials for the May 13 national and local elections.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año earlier ordered all DILG units to fully comply with Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code which bans the use of public funds, money deposited in trust, equipment, facilities owned or controlled by government for any election campaign or any partisan political activity.
He added that government buildings, properties, vehicles and equipment are for official use only and may not be used as venues or tools for partisan political activities.
The official likewise urged the public to report local officials who violates Comelec or DILG rules and regulations by taking a picture or video of the violations.
In Cagayan Valley, the Police Regional Office 2 in coordination with the local Comelec and the Department of Public Works and Highways has started a regionwide ‘Operation Baklas’ targeting illegal campaign posters and advertisements of candidates seeking national and local positions.
PRO2 director Chief Superintendent Jose Mario M. Espino said that the Task Force Baklas is conducting its operations to tear down and remove unlawful election materials in public places in Cagayan Valley.
As of yesterday, Espino said that over 1,500 unlawful election materials have been removed and destroyed by the task force.
“I would like to appeal to all candidates to adhere to the rules on posting election materials in public places,” he said.
The prescribed maximum size of the Comelec for all the tarpaulins and posters is 2 feet by 3 feet or 3 feet by 2 feet depending whether these are horizontal or vertical and should only be posted and placed in the designated campaign areas.
Espino said that local policemen are assisting the campaign as part of their effort to ensure that all pertinent provisions of the Omnibus Election Code will be followed.
This includes the strict enforcement of the gun ban and the prohibition on bodyguards and other security forces, he said.