By Paola T. Palma
The campaign period for the 2013 barangay elections officially has started, and early birds promptly hit the hustings as well as resort to the usual malpractice tricks.
Scantly an hour after the hands of the clock crossed over to Friday, a number of candidates started going the rounds in some part of Metro Manila.
As early as 1 am, some streets were already abuzz with a plethora of campaign paraphernalia ranging from posters to giveaways, flyers, to jingles along with the candidates and their supporters.
Some candidates said they are well aware of the guidelines on campaigning.
However, others have just as promptly violated Comelec rules by posting campaign materials on non-designated locations, such as power lines and lamp posts.
The campaign period, which officially started Friday, will run until October 26, two days before Election Day.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminds the candidates on the dos and don'ts during this period.
For example, the size of the posters should not be more than two by three feet, and campaign materials should only be posted in common poster areas or on private properties such as houses and vehicles.
Also, a candidate can only spend P5 per voter.
Violators will be penalized by Comelec in accordance with the Omnibus Election Code.
Aside from disqualification, erring candidates may be penalized, as well, with imprisonment from 1 to 6 years.
They will also be stripped of their rights to vote and seek public office in the future.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.