Press Release
November 28, 2012


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, urged today the Commission on Election (Comelec) to level the electoral playing field now heavily tilted in favor of moneyed candidates who swamp TV and radio shows with paid political advertisements.

Pimentel asked the Comelec to come up with a resolution interpreting two critical provisions of the Fair Election Practices Act (RA 9006), namely 6.2. (a) and (b) which limit national candidates to 120 minutes for TV and 180 minutes for radio ads; and local candidates to 60 minutes TV and 90 minutes radio ad times, respectively.

He said the provisions should be interpreted as the "total media time and not per TV station or per radio station time" allotted to the candidates. At present the provisions are interpreted to mean total media time per TV and radio station per candidate.

"Once strictly construed and enforced, candidates should also not be allowed to endorse other candidates including party-lists in order to circumvent the total media exposure rule," Pimentel said.

"Of course, those who have more money can afford to have more advertisements and exposure on television and radios, while candidates who have less money cannot afford the high prices of advertisements," he pointed out.

Pimentel added, "Given Comelec's interpretation which is against the spirit of the law, it is as if there is actually no limit at all."

Pimentel stressed that a Comelec resolution properly interpreting the above provision would be in keeping with the true intention of RA 9006.

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