The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already taken down 1.83 tons of campaign materials posted in prohibited places just two days after candidates kicked off their official campaigns for the 2016 elections.
MMDA Clearing Group head Francis Martinez told Philstar they gathered illegal materials along España Boulevard in Manila, Araneta Avenue, and E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City and in Makati City.
Martinez said the collected materials were mostly posters and tarpaulins posted on trees, lamp posts, and electric cables.
He added that among the violators was former MMDA Chief Francis Tolentino, who recently resigned to seek a seat in the senate.
Current MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos for his part said they were appealing to candidates “to only post their campaign materials in the proper place.”
Carlos said they will continue to conduct the Oplan Baklas clearing operations with dedicated teams composed of members from the MMDA, Commission on Elections (Comelec), and Philippine National Police.
He also said that members of the Oplan Baklas initiative will document their clearing operations by taking pictures of the procedures which will then be sent to the Comelec to identify violators.
“It’s up to the Comelec to take proper action based on the law. Placing posters outside Comelec-designated areas is punishable by imprisonment and disqualification of the candidate,” he said.
Carlos added that they will recycle all confiscated election materials and will turn them into tents and other items that can be used for the MMDA’s activities.
The official campaign period, which started on Tuesday, is scheduled for ninety days and will subsequently be followed by the 2016 elections on May 9.