Election lawyer and senatorial aspirant Romulo Macalintal says an upcoming movie on ex-PNP chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa may be an election offense if played within the campaign period.
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Macalintal says Bato movie should not be shown during campaign period
Ryan Macasero (Philstar.com) - January 7, 2019 - 4:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that an upcoming movie based on the life of fellow senatorial aspirant and former Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa may constitute an election offense if shown during the campaign period.

“Wala tayong nakikitang problema sa pelikula ng mga kandidato basta ipalalabas ito bago magsimula ang campaign period sa February 12 (We don’t see a problem with films of the candidates as long as it’s shown before the campaign period starts on February 12),” Macalintal said in a statement on Monday.

Macalintal echoed the Commission on Elections’ position that the film should not be seen in theatres during the campaign period. 

“Whether or not there’s a boycott, there will still be a violation of election rules,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Sunday.

READ: Comelec: Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa movie may violate election law

If the movie is shown in theatres during the campaign period, those liable could be slapped with election offenses.

The “Fair Elections Act” prohibits the showing of a movie, cinematography, or documentary portraying the life or biography of a candidate in a theater, television station or any public forum during the campaign period.

Action star Robin Padilla shared a teaser of the upcoming biopic last December 27. Padilla plays the ex-cop and President Rodrigo Duterte's first pick for chief of the PNP.

INTERAKSYON: Robin Padilla is ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa in upcoming biopic

The campaign period for those running for national posts in the midterm polls is set to start on February 12 and ends on May 11, although no release date for the film has been announced yet.

The former top cop and loyal Duterte supporter said in October after filing his candidacy that he is aiming to become a member of the upper house because the president instructed him to do so. 

READ: Ex-PNP chief Bato joins senatorial race

Among his priorities would be advocating the restoration of the death penalty in the Senate, Dela Rosa said during a CNN Philippines forum on December 3

Macalintal is a longtime election lawyer, more recently in the headlines for defending Vice President Leni Robredo in the election protest filed by losing candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 

READ: Veteran elections lawyer Macalintal seeks Senate seat 

The first-time candidate is campaigning on a platform of campaign finance reform and senior citizens' rights. — with a report from The STAR

BATO DELA ROSA BONGBONG MARCOS ELECTIONS 2019 LENI ROBREDO PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS ROBIN PADILLA ROMULO MACALINTAL
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