The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) started taking down campaign materials in places not designated as common poster areas on Monday.
Jomel Ordas, COMELEC Palawan spokesperson, said that Oplan Baklas was conducted on April 11 in the towns of Agutaya, Araceli, Bataraza, Brooke’s Point, Busuanga, Cuyo, Dumaran, El Nido, Linapacan, Magsaysay, Narra, Rizal, Sofronio Española, San Vicente, and Taytay.
The Oplan Baklas teams in different towns were able to remove a number of campaign materials that were oversized and posted in undesignated areas.
The towns of Aborlan, Balabac, Cagayancillo, Coron, Culion, Quezon, and Roxas will conduct the same operation in the coming days.
Ordas said Operation Baklas is in compliance with COMELEC Memorandum 2022-04-0602 to conduct a region-wide synchronized operation baklas.
“Bilang compliance po ‘yan sa directive ng ating regional elections director,” Ordas said Tuesday.
Posters l, which were removed, were either oversized, posted outside the designated common poster areas, absence of required data, and those in public structures, properties and trees.
Based on COMELEC Resolution No. 10730, Section 29, all prohibited forms of election propaganda should be removed.
COMELEC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), municipal engineering and municipal environment and natural resources joined in the conduct of the operation.
In Puerto Princesa City, the City COMELEC, together with personnel from the DENR, DPWH and Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) also started taking down illegal campaign posters and materials.
City election officer Shiela Sison said the operation was conducted simultaneously throughout the region on April 11 and 12 after COMELEC released a memorandum.
She said that based on her observation, most of the campaign materials removed were at Mendoza Park and some barangay halls.
“This is a regional simultaneous operation baklas. But before naman na ginawa namin ito nagbigay na talaga kami ng notice that we will be doing this. ‘Yong mga ginawa namin noong nakaraan, nagbibigay kami ng notices at halos lahat naman sila sumunod na tinanggal din talaga nila ang kanilang mga paraphernalia doon sa mga nakuhaan naming ng mga litrato,” Sison said.
“Umikot tayo sa Bancao-Bancao, sa PEO compound tapos pumunta tayo sa Mendoza park, medyo marami doon kaya babaklasin din natin iyon. And iyong sa mga barangay hall kapag may nakakabit, tatanggalin din natin iyon. Basta government property, public places tatanggalin natin iyon,” she added. (with reports from Rosemarie Ygot, Regine Longcayana, and Louie Calapardo)