Press Release
March 9, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1231:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Supreme Court's TRO on Oplan Baklas

I thank the Supreme Court (SC) for issuing a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on COMELEC's Oplan Baklas under COMELEC Resolution No. 10730 in so far as they affect election materials privately owned, funded and produced by volunteers and private citizens posted or installed within their private properties.

I also laud the lawyers who volunteered to challenge the COMELEC Resolution to ensure that the rights of our countrymen who wish to participate in the national conversation during the elections are not unduly impaired.

The implementation of the said resolution clearly violates the freedom of speech during election season, as affirmed by the SC in the case of Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC (2015). In said case, the SC held that COMELEC does not have the authority to regulate the enjoyment of the preferred right of freedom of expression exercised by a non-candidate during the election season.

Hindi dapat sinusupil ng COMELEC ang malayang pagpapahayag ng mga supporter ng kandidato ng kanilang saloobin sa panahon ng halalan.

Ang pahayag ng suporta at napakagagandang gawa ng sining na buong pusong handog ng ating mga kababayan na nasa mga private property ay hindi saklaw ng kapangyarihan ng COMELEC at hindi nila dapat sinisira o pinakikialaman.

Hopefully, this issue will be settled once and for all when the SC defines the scope of the regulatory authority of COMELEC when it comes to expressions in various media involving candidates and political parties.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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