Defensor hails SC’s decision on airtime limit

ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. hailed the Supreme Court for declaring the Commission on Election’s ceiling on political campaign advertisement as unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court is right. The limit affects the freedom of speech and expression,” Defensor affirmed in a press conference held at his office at the Provincial Capitol.    

Section 9 (a) of Comelec Resolution No. 9615, as amended by Resolution No. 9631, was declared unconstitutional by the High Tribunal in a decision made public earlier this week.

The said section provides that candidates for national position may only run a total of 120 minutes advertisement in all television networks, while 180 minutes in all radio stations.

For local candidates, the resolution imposed a limit of 60 minutes in all television networks and 90 minutes in all radio stations.

Defensor said the latest ruling is favorable to the media but it may be disadvantaged to politicians who can’t afford placing advertisements either in television or radio.

“The media surely likes this decision for it will mean more income for them. But for those poor politicians, like me, it is a disadvantage. Yet again, even without the ads, I am confident that good deeds can compensate my shortcomings,” he said.

He added that “no matter how many times you sell yourself, if the people don’t like you, they will not buy for it. In the end of the day, the judgment of the people will prevail.”

Aside from abridging the freedom of speech and expression, SC stated that the said section was arbitrary in a sense that the Comelec changed the previous regulation from “per station” to “aggregate total”.

It also violated the people’s right to suffrage and lacked prior hearing before adoption.#2014News


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