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Comelec Says It Can't Police Social Media Without a New Law

For now, it can only check spending.
by Erwin Colcol
Oct 17, 2021
Photo/s: shutterstock

The Commission on Elections said Sunday a new law would be needed to limit the use of social media for campaigning as candidates for the 2022 elections as the pandemic shifts the battle for votes to the virtual space. 

The poll body earlier said that the campaign for the 2022 elections would be less on touch and physical rallies, so candidates would have to harness the power of social media to reach voters.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that for now, the commission could only monitor the campaign spending of candidates on social media.

"Beyond that, walang limitation. Hindi katulad halimbawa sa TV na meron kang number of minutes na hindi pwedeng lagpasan. Walang ganun sa social media," he told dzBB in an interview.

"Kung may kailangan may pag-aamyenda sa batas, sa ganung direksyon. Kailangan magkaroon ng bagong batas para magsabi na kung ano yung limitation sa gamit sa social media," he added.

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The Senate earlier tackled a measure that would increase the caps on campaign spending considering the impact of pandemic restrictions on the 2022 elections. The measure remains pending for second reading approval.

Jimenez said Comelec was planning to come up with the final list of candidates for the 2022 elections by December, with at least 95% of the filers likely to be removed.

A total of 97 individuals filed their candidacy for president alone, while 28 filed for vice president.

"Unang tingin mo pa lang, alam mo nang makakatanggal ka ng mga 95% ng mga nag-file. So talagang siguro ang matitira sa atin hindi lalampas sa sampu," Jimenez said.

The campaign period for the 2022 elections will start on Feb. 8 until May 7, 2022 for national candidates, and from Mar. 25 to May 7, 2022 for local candidates.


What Will Election Campaigns Look Like During the Pandemic?

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