The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has started its “Operation Baklas” to remove campaign materials that will not follow its prescribed size and location where to post them.
COMELEC provincial spokesperson Jomel Ordas said the “baklas” drive against illegal campaign materials is in compliance with a memorandum their central office passed down recently.
Ordas reminded candidates in the province that the prescribed maximum size for all tarpaulins and posters is 2×3 or 3×2, horizontal or vertical, and should only be in designated areas.
The poll body said the identified common poster areas are the barangay centers, bay walk area, public markets, and plazas.
“Sa bawat city or municipality mayroong designated common poster areas ang bawat election officer natin. Ito ay public place maaaring public plaza, market, barangay center, at iba pa,” he said.
Engineer Arthur Torillo of the 3rd Engineering District said they have already deployed their personnel and staff as early as Monday for the operation in Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan town.
“Dapat naka-start na kami kaya lang naka-deploy na mga tao namin kaya sa Friday aayusin namin ang schedule for next week para makabaklas na,” he said.
Torillo said they have already seen campaign materials violating the prescribed common poster areas.
“May ilan-ilan na tayong nakita na nag-violate based sa inspection noong nakaraan. Sa Monday tatanggalin ‘yan pero itatabi lang ‘yan sa opisina dahil baka may maghanap,” Torillo said.
He added that just earlier, they have removed many campaign materials that were posted in bridge railings and along the national roads.
Torillo said what was disappointing was the use of glues that destroy the aesthetic appearance of the bridges.
“Noong nakaraan madami kaming nakuha lalo na sa mga tulay at mga railings ng kalsada. Tinatanggal namin lahat ng nakalagay sa ginawa ng DPWH. Ang nagiging problema lang namin d’yan pagkatapos ng election ay pumapangit ang mga tulay kasi may mga ginagamit silang pandikit na pati ang pintura nasisira,” he added.
The Operation Baklas team is composed of representatives of the COMELEC, Philippine National Police, and DPWH.