Poll chief: Campaigns online covered by election rules

Sixto Brillantes Comelec campaigns online

Campaigns done over social media are covered by election regulations, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. reiterated Thursday.

This, after Liberal Party senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal went to the Comelec main office in Intramuros and apologized to the poll body over holding an online contest with iPad as a prize.

Madrigal maintained she was not aware of the contest.

Lawyer Ernesto Francisco, Madrigal’s lawyer, argued that the online contest is not covered by election regulations since it was done over social media.

“Anything that involves propaganda is part of the elections. Under the Omnibus Election Code, in-anticipate na there will be improvements in science and technology. There’s a general provision that we can regulate advances in social media… covered yan,” Brillantes said.

Brillantes said the Comelec en banc will wait for the Law Department’s recommendations on whether to file charges against Madrigal over the iPad raffle.

The poll body is investigating Madrigal for violating election rules on campaigning.

The former lady senator is facing possible disqualification from the race.

In a statement, Madrigal said: “I am nonetheless conveying my apology to the Honorable Commission if the said contest was perceived as a possible violation of our election laws or resolutions issued by the Honorable Commission.”

She, however, refused to identify her supporters who apparently initiated the online contest. (PNA)