Press Release
April 16, 2013

Cayetano hails SC Decision to lift ad limits a victory
for democracy and poor voters

Senator Alan Cayetano hailed the Supreme Court's (SC) decision to lift the Commission on Elections (Comelec) limit on political advertisements a victory for democracy and for voters in poor rural areas with limited or no access to national television (TV).

"Information about candidates should reach every Filipino family, not only those with access to national TV," Cayetano said. "This decision is a victory for voters, especially the poor in remote rural areas who now have the opportunity to hear more about the advocacy of various candidates."

Cayetano said that Comelec's fear of this decision benefitting candidates with bigger budgets is unfounded because the candidates' spending limit of P3 per voter remains unchanged. "What the Comelec should do now is monitor the spending of each candidate and, more importantly, check that the funding of candidates is not from illegal means like jueteng or drugs," he said.

Comelec Resolution No. 9615 limited national candidates to only 120 minutes of airtime for television and 180 minutes for radio during the campaign period. Meanwhile, local candidates were only allowed 60 minutes for television and 90 minutes for radio. This was done in an effort to curtail campaign spending. In the past, the agency limited advertisements on a per-station basis.

The Supreme Court voting 9-6 earlier today issued a status quo ante order halting the implementation of the said resolution - an act that Cayetano has long been petitioning for.

Cayetano is the only party of interest as a senatorial candidate who filed a Petition-in-Intervention in the case. "I intervened in this case because I realized that the limit on ad placements deprives our voters of their right to be informed about candidates. The Comelec should encourage instead of discourage candidates to make an informed choice on the candidates they will vote for," he said.

The case was filed by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), GMA Network Inc., Radio Mindanao Network (RMN), Bombo Radyo and TV 5.

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