19 September 2012

Disgraceful Early Campaigners

Epal Posters
The Philippine local election is still months away, but shameless politicians are already campaigning early by clattering the streets with posters and billboards that featured their photoshopped faces complete with those pearly white crocodile teeth.

Some netizens are even reporting that possible senatorial candidates have started to place significant air time in their TV and radio advertisements that featured their accomplishments and future plans. Just because they can afford to pay for these expensive ads in networks with wide reach, doesn’t mean that they have to resort to these reprehensible moves to attract voters.

As a result of these appalling display of paedophilic-kind of behaviour, Transparency and Accountability Network executive director Vincent Lazatin put up the "Anti-Epal" Facebook page for the public to share photos of what he calls a "malpractice."

"This issue of campaigning before the election period is something that Pera’t Pulika has been very concerned with. And the public doesn’t like the idea of politicians putting their ads months before the political campaign period starts," Lazatin told Rappler.com.

Rappler.com is a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change.

The Omnibus Election Code was crystal clear when it bans premature campaigning. But, in a widely criticized decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the law only applies when the politicians have filed their certificates of candidacies. It means that, legally, there is no violation. What a S&^$# ruling!

Is it not clear that when a politician put their names and pictures on posters, tarpaulins and public works projects they are already conditioning the minds of the public? Is it not obvious that when a politician put up a sign greeting people "Happy Fiesta", "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Valentine's Day" they are already making sure that the voters can easily recall their names when election starts?

Because of this disgraceful action and behaviour, there is an urgency to pass Senator Miriam Santiago's Senate Bill No. 1967 or the "Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project."

Santiago said it is "highly unethical" for public officers, whether elected or appointed to append their names to public works projects which were either funded or facilitated through their office.

However, given that the measure will be clamping on their negative and reprehensible trait, it is doubtful Congress will fully support the bill. One option remaining is to support the efforts of Lazatin by posting the early campaigners and ask everyone not to vote for them.