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Help monitor campaign violations, Comelec chairman asks tweeps

With just days to go before the start of the campaign period for national posts, the Commission on Elections appealed to Twitter users to help it go after candidates who violate the rules on campaigning. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the start of the campaign period on Feb. 12 will cover those running for senator and party-list representatives. "Sa Feb. 12, 2013 na po ang simula ng kampanya ng mga tumatakbong senador at party-list representatives. Tulungan ninyo po kaming magbantay," Brillantes said on his Twitter account. He said the Comelec has already laid down the rules of the campaigning, including time limits for ads. Those who want to report violations may do so at @comelectv. "Isumbong po sa @COMELECTV ang mga paglabag sa mga panuntunan ng pangangampanya (Report violations to @comelectv)," he said. Clean campaigning An ecological group is asking both the administration coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance to commit to zero-waste campaigning. The EcoWaste Coalition said it will watch the two parties in their respective senatorial proclamation rallies in Manila and in Cebu on February 12. “We challenge both parties to set the standard for clean and eco-friendly political campaigns in their sorties throughout the archipelago, and to avoid exacerbating our environmental problems with their campaign garbage and polluting political paraphernalia,” said the group's president Von Hernandez, in a letter to both camps. The letters were sent to:
- President Benigno Aquino III and Liberal Party campaign manager Sen. Franklin Drilon of Team PNoy - Vice President Jejomar Binay and UNA Secretary General and campaign manager Tobias Tiangco
Hernandez asked both parties to conduct their campaign activities – in a "Zero Basura" way.
"By purposely preventing and reducing their campaign garbage, political parties will be making a positive difference towards protecting and preserving our fragile environment,” he said. The group also challenged both parties to abide by the requirements of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Election Act. It said both parties must make sure their rallies and campaign sorties in the next three months will be free from littering, open burning and open dumping. Also, it urged the two major parties and their supporters to desist from throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers and fireworks and from releasing balloons and sky lanterns. It reminded them as well not to post their campaign materials outside of designated common poster areas, and never on trees, flowering plants, and shrubs. "Aside from simply complying with these existing laws, we are also challenging both parties to draw up a clear and meaningful environmental agenda as part of their respective electoral platforms. This will give the voting public the opportunity to elect leaders who are truly invested in securing a green and sustainable future for this country." Hernandez said. EcoWaste, Greenpeace and other allied groups, will conduct Green Electoral Initiative (GEI) around the theme “Berde ka ba?” to encourage political coalitions and parties to develop their enviroment-friendly platforms. — LBG, GMA News