MANILA – Declaring the ceiling on candidates’ advertisements as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court yesterday ruled that there should be no more limit on political ads in radio and television.
The SC decision declared unconstitutional, a certain provision on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 9615 that limits the advertisements of national candidates to 120 minutes in television networks and 180 minutes in radio stations.
The said resolution, as amended by Resolution No. 9631, also provides a limitation of 60 minutes for television and 90 minutes for radio for local candidates.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the petitions are partially granted, Section Section 9(a) of Resolution No. 9615, as amended by Resolution No. 9631, is declared unconstitutional and therefore null and void. The constitutionality of the remaining provisions of Resolution No. 9615, as amended by Resolution No. 9631, is upheld and remains in full force and effect,” the SC ruled.
The said resolution, however was not implemented during the 2013 elections because the SC has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to its enforcement, during its 2013 summer sessions in Baguio City.
The provision, according to Spokesman Theodore O. Te was declared unconstitutional based on the findings which included:
- Arbitrary manner by which the Comelec changed the previous regulation from ‘per station’ to ‘aggregate total.’
- Violation of freedom of expression, speech and of the press.
- Violation of the people’s right to suffrage.
- Absence of prior hearing before the adoption.