Cebu Citizens-Press Council

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Omnibus Election Code


Batas Pambansa 881
OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

ARTICLE II
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT

Section 15. Canvass of votes for President and Vice-President by the provincial or city board of canvassers. – The provincial, city, or district boards of canvassers in Metropolitan Manila, as the case may be, shall meet not later than six o’clock in the evening on election day to canvass the election returns that may have already been received by them, respectively. It shall meet continuously from day to day until the canvass is completed, but may adjourn only for the purpose of awaiting the other election returns. Each time the board adjourns, it shall make a total of all the votes cast for each candidate for President and for Vice-President, duly authenticated by the signatures and thumbmarks of all the members of the provincial, city or district board of canvassers, furnishing the Commission in Manila by the fastest means of communication a copy thereof, and making available the data contained therein to mass media and other interested parties. Upon the completion of the canvass, the board shall prepare a certificate of canvass showing the votes received by each candidate for the office of the President and for Vice-President, duly authenticated by the signatures and thumbmarks of all the members of the provincial, city or district board of canvassers. Upon the completion of the certificate of canvass, the board shall certify and transmit the said certificate of canvass to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa.

ARTICLE VII
THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

Sec. 52. Powers and functions of the Commission on Elections. – In addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the Constitution, the Commission shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly and honest elections, and shall:

(j) Carry out a continuing and systematic campaign through newspapers of general circulation, radios and other media forms to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about election laws, procedures, decisions, and other matters relative to the work and duties of the Commission and the necessity of clean, free, orderly and honest electoral processes.

Sec. 59. Publication of official ballots and election returns and printing thereof. – The Commission shall publish at least ten days before an election in a newspaper of general circulation certified data on the number of official ballots and election returns and the names and addresses of the printers and the number printed by each.

ARTICLE VIII
POLITICAL PARTIES

Sec. 62. Publication of petition for registration or accreditation. – The Commission shall require publication of the petition for registration or accreditation in at least three newspapers of general circulation and shall, after due notice and hearing, resolve the petition within fifteen days from the date it is submitted for decision.

ARTICLE X
CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION PROPAGANDA

Sec. 82. Lawful election propaganda. – Lawful election propaganda shall include:

(a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed materials of a size not more than eight and one-half inches in width and fourteen inches in length;

(b) Handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any particular candidate;

(c) Cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area exceeding
two feet by three feet, except that, at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally, or in announcing the holding of said meeting or rally, streamers not exceeding three feet by eight feet in size, shall be allowed: Provided, That said streamers may not be displayed except one week before the date of the meeting or rally and that it shall be removed within seventy-two hours after said meeting or rally; or

(d) All other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by this Code as the Commission may authorize after due notice to all interested parties and hearing where all the interested parties were given an equal opportunity to be heard: Provided, That the Commission’s authorization shall be published in two newspapers of general circulation throughout the nation for at least twice within one week after the authorization has been granted.

Sec. 83. Removal, destruction or defacement of lawful election propaganda prohibited. – It shall be unlawful for any person during the campaign period to remove, destroy, obliterate, or in any manner deface or tamper with, or prevent the distribution of lawful election propaganda.

Sec. 84. Requirements for published or printed election propaganda. – Any newspaper, newsletter, newsweekly, gazette or magazine advertising, posters, pamphlets, circulars, handbills, bumper stickers, streamers, simple list of candidates or any published or printed political matter for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office shall bear and be identified by the words “paid for by” followed by the true and correct name and address of the payor and by the words “printed by” followed by the true and correct name and address of the printer.

Sec. 85. Prohibited forms of election propaganda. – It shall be unlawful:

(a) To print, publish, post or distribute any poster, pamphlet, circular, handbill, or printed matter urging voters to vote for or against any candidate unless they bear the names and addresses of the printer and payor as required in Section 84 hereof;

(b) To erect, put up, make use of, attach, float or display any billboard, tinplate-poster, balloons and the like, of whatever size, shape, form or kind, advertising for or against any candidate or political party;

(c) To purchase, manufacture, request, distribute or accept electoral propaganda gadgets, such as pens, lighters, fans of whatever nature, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hats, bandanas, matches, cigarettes and the like, except that campaign supporters accompanying a candidate shall be allowed to wear hats and/or shirts or T-shirts advertising a candidate;

(d) To show or display publicly any advertisement or propaganda for or against any candidate by means of cinematography, audio-visual units or other screen projections except telecasts which may be allowed as hereinafter provided; and

(e) For any radio broadcasting or television station to sell or give free of charge air time for campaign and other political purposes except as authorized in this Code under the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission pursuant thereto.

Any prohibited election propaganda gadget or advertisement shall be stopped, confiscated or torn down by the representative of the Commission upon specific authority of the Commission.

Sec. 86. Regulation of election propaganda through mass media. –

(a) The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the sale of air time for partisan political purposes during the campaign period to insure the equal time as to duration and quality in available to all candidates for the same office or political parties at the same rates or given free of charge; that such rates are reasonable and not higher than those charged other buyers or users of air time for non-political purposes; that the provisions of this Code regarding the limitation of expenditures by candidates and political parties and contributions by private persons, entities and institutions are effectively enforced; and to ensure that said radio broadcasting and television stations shall not unduly allow the scheduling of any program or permit any sponsor to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party by unduly or repeatedly referring to or including said candidate and/or political party in such program respecting, however, in all instances the right of said stations to broadcast accounts of significant or newsworthy events and views on matters of public interest.

(b) All contracts for advertising in any newspaper, magazine, periodical or any form of publication promoting or opposing the candidacy of any person for public office shall, before its implementation, be registered by said newspaper, magazine, periodical or publication with the Commission. In every case, it shall be signed by the candidate concerned or by the duly authorized representative of the political party.

(c) No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.

Any radio or television stations, including that owned or controlled by the Government, shall give free of charge equal time and prominence to an accredited political party or its candidates if it gives free of charge air time to an accredited political party or its candidates for political purposes.

In all instances, the Commission shall supervise the use and employment of press, radio and television facilities so as to give candidates equal opportunities under equal circumstances to make known their qualifications and their stand on public issues within the limits set forth in this Code on election spending.

Rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission under and by authority of this section shall take effect on the seventh day after their publication in at least two daily newspapers of general circulation. Prior to the effectivity of said rules and regulations, no political advertisement or propaganda for or against any candidate or political party shall be published or broadcast through the mass media.

Violation of the rules and regulations of the Commission issued to implement this section shall be an election offense punishable under Section 264 hereof.

Sec. 90. Comelec space. – The Commission shall procure space in at least one newspaper of general circulation in every province or city: Provided, however, That in the absence of said newspaper, publication shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in said province or city, which shall be known as “Comelec Space” wherein candidates can announce their candidacy. Said space shall be allocated, free of charge, equally and impartially by the Commission among all candidates within the area in which the newspaper is circulated.

Sec. 92. Comelec time. – The Commission shall procure radio and television time to be known as “Comelec Time” which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates within the area of coverage of all radio and television stations. For this purpose, the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television station are hereby amended so as to provide radio television time, free of charge, during the period of the campaign.

ARTICLE XIX
CANVASS AND PROCLAMATION

Sec. 231. Canvass by the board. – The board of canvassers shall meet not later than six o’clock in the afternoon of election day at the place designated by the Commission to receive the election returns and to immediately canvass those that may have already been received. It shall meet continuously from day to day until the canvass is completed, and may adjourn but only for the purpose of awaiting the other election returns from other polling places within its jurisdiction. Each time the board adjourns, it shall make a total of all the votes canvassed so far for each candidate for each office, furnishing the Commission in Manila by the fastest means of communication a certified copy thereof, and making available the data contained therein to the mass media and other interested parties. As soon as the other election returns are delivered, the board shall immediately resume canvassing until all the returns have been canvassed.

ARTICLE XXI
ELECTION CONTESTS

Sec. 254. Procedure in election contests. – The Commission shall prescribe the rules to govern the procedure and other matters relating to election contests pertaining to all national, regional, provincial, and city offices not later than thirty days before such elections. Such rules shall provide a simple and inexpensive procedure for the expeditious disposition of election contests and shall be published in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

Approved, December 3, 1985.

Source: The Lawphil Project – Arellano Law Foundation

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