Comelec asked to leave Internet aloneBy Maila Ager
| February 22, 2013 at 10:59 am
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has called on the Commission on Elections to leave the Internet alone, saying this is the only venue where candidates can campaign for free. “Yung sa Internet dapat huwag nilang pakialaman…” Escudero said in a radio interview Friday. “Yun na nga lang ang libre, yun pa ba ang pakikiaalaman nila?” he said. A resolution issued by the Commission on Elections provides that “online advertisement, whether procures by purchase or given free of charge, shall not be published more than three times a week per website during the campaign period.” But Escudero doubts if the Comelec can strictly monitor the ads on Internet. “Yung sa Internet, suntok sa buwan ng Comelec yan. Ni hindi nila kayang imonitor yun at di nila kayang bantayan yun. Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit sinama nila yan,” he said. The senator, who is seeking re-election in the May 2013 polls, meanwhile, welcomed the limited airtime a candidate could buy in the traditional media, such as radio and television. In fact, he said, the Comelec may even give a candidate more than the total of 120 minutes airtime on all television stations and more than the 180 minutes for all radio stations. After all, Escudero said, only a few candidates may afford longer airtime specially on television. “Yung sa TV balewala sa amin yun dahil maski gawin pa nilang 500 minutes yung 120 minutes, balewala din sa amin dahil sobrang laking pera ang kailangan mo para mag advertise ng 500 minutes,” he said. “Sa 120 minutes na lamang kung ilalagay mo yan sa primetime, humigit kumulang P90 million ang babayaran mo. Ilang kandidato lang ba ang may ganoong pera para gastusan yan. Ilang kandidato lang ba ang kayang ubusin ang 120 minutes? Kami hindi namin kayang ubusin yun,” Escudero added.