By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
The number of campaign posters all over Iloilo City for the May elections is 50 percent higher compared to the 2016 local and national elections.
Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Iloilo City Assistant Election Officer Jonathan Sayno gave the estimate.
The increase in the number of campaign posters of both local and national candidates means more illegally posted campaign posters that are mostly oversized and out of place, Sayno lamented.
“Damo gihapon ang ga-violate especially mga oversized posters and ang iban nga partido gaguwa sila sa ila designated campaign poster area,” he added.
Sayno said they have taken down more or less 1,800 illegal campaign posters of both local and national candidates through Operation Baklas (Dismantle).
“We have been conducting operations and we were able to take down around 1, 000 illegal campaign posters of national candidates and 800 for local bets,” he explained.
For instance, Sayno said their office sent a letter to Mayor Jose Espinosa III regarding his poster with President Rodrigo Duterte on their campaign against drugs, corruption, and criminality.
“Ang advocacy ni mayor nga ‘Utos ni Presidente, Utos ni Mayor’ ginpadal-an na letter sang amon nga opisina nga ina isa ka violation. Amo na makita niyo subong ang ginhimo nila gintabunan nila sang white nga material ang iya picture,” he said.
Mayor Espinosa said covering his picture is his initiative to remove the notion that the poster with the President is part of his political campaign.
“Ako ginpatabunan ko, delicadeza nga indi ko gusto himuan issue kay basi hambalon naman nila nga political campaign,” he said.
The mayor emphasized that the “Utos ni Presidente, Utos ni Mayor” is a project of the city government to fight drugs, criminality, and corruption.
Today, April 15, 2019, Comelec-Western Visayas acting Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros said they will conduct a region-wide Operation Baklas.
Mendros said the operation will cover municipalities, cities, and provinces across the region in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire (BFP) and other partner agencies.
Mendros also encouraged the private citizens to join their operations.
“Private citizens who are willing to join are welcome but they have to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the chairman and team,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sayno appealed to the poll bets to remind their fans and supporters to refrain from posting campaign posters on areas where they have already finished their operations.
“Ang amon appeal nga ang mga poste nga nakuhaan indi na pagbutangan liwat. Tani aware ang mga pulitiko kag ang mga supporters and fans nila,” he noted.