Moreno camp also reports tarp takedowns in Isabela

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Moreno camp also reports tarp takedowns in Isabela
Photo released by Aksyon Demokratiko shows a poster of standard-bearer Isko Moreno that was reportedly removed hours later.
Release / Aksyon Demokratiko

MANILA, Philippines — Manila City Mayor and presidential candidate Isko Moreno is the latest candidate to have his campaign tarpaulins taken down, this time in Santiago City, Isabela, his political party reported Thursday. 

In a phone call with Philstar.com, Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel said that the incident occurred in a privately owned building by one of the campaign's supporters. 

He was careful to point out that those responsible have not been identified yet. In the case of Vice President Leni Robredo, personnel of the Comelec and the Philippine National Police were filmed taking down election posters. 

"There are four others in different areas [but] I'm still asking for pictures. Just today they were saying the posters were being removed just because it's outside the common poster area or hanging inside their private property," Ramel said in mixed Filipino and English. 

"We support those statements [and] complaints by other candidates because it's a constitutional violation of their freedom of expression...we should respect our citizens' expression of freedom," Ramel said but maintained that the party was still waiting for reports before issuing a statement. 

This comes a day after Vice President Leni Robredo also reported their campaign materials being taken down and even dismantled — despite some being on private property. One incident where police officers were found to be responsible also took place in Santiago City.

Earlier Thursday, the PNP said it was investigating and validating reports that police also helped take down posters and tarpaulins in regional volunteer headquarters for Robredo. Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos earlier said that "every police officer is prohibited from campaigning for any candidate or from influencing the public to favor one candidate over the other."

The Constitutional Law Cluster of UP Law, the Recoletos Law Center, and the Civil and Political Rights Clinic - UP Clinical Legal Education Program said that the right to participate in the elections is not limited to the right to vote but extends to the right to campaign as well.

Under Comelec Resolution No. 10730, "cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area not exceeding two feet by three feet" as well as "pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed materials the size of which does not exceed eight and one-half inches in width and fourteen inches in length" are considered to be lawful election propaganda. 

 with a report from Xave Gregorio 

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