The three district offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the city in cooperation with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)mounted on Monday the "Operation Baklas", a clean-up drive aimed at ridding political propaganda materials off the non-designated poster areas.
Lawyer Aimee Ampoloquio, election officer of the District 1 of Davao City, said their operation yielded plenty of political propaganda both from the incumbent officials and aspiring candidates gunning for the local elections.
She observed even political materials bearing the names of candidates of the ruling coalition headed by the Liberal Party (LP)and the opposing United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) were forcibly taken away from the posts, trees, walls and even at the facade of commercial establishments, whose owners claimed they were not consulted when these materials were posted.
"These propaganda materials will be used as pieces of evidence by the law department of the Commission on Elections in filing election law-violations against the candidates who violated the rule on posting campaign materials," Ampoloquio said.
Section 3 of the Comelec Resolution No. 7767 bars political candidates and their supporters from nailing or stapling campaign materials on trees and bans posting on bridges, power and telephone lines, schools, islands and monuments.
Comelec Resolution 9615 requires candidates to post propaganda materials only on authorized designated common poster areas or private property with the consent of the owner.
The policy states that violators can be imprisoned from one to six years with the right to vote forfeited and would no longer be allowed to run for public office.
Ampoloquio said that with the resolve of Comelec-Manila to sue violators, it is certain that formal charges will be filed against them with the many pieces of evidence gathered as proof of defying election laws.
"There are violations even from candidates of contending parties. We have all the pieces of evidence like photos and materials taken from the non-designated poster areas," she said.
Senior Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa, director of the Davao City Police Office, who assisted the poll body said his members are also deployed in the two other districts of the city to assist the clean-up drive.
He said simultaneous clean-up drive is also done in Toril, Calinan, Sasa, Bunawan and Buhangin.
Lawyer Joseph Dominic Felizarta, chief of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) said they are still awaiting the order to participate in the clean-up drive from the poll body.