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No SC TRO yet vs. airtime limit on campaign ads

The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the issuance of a temporary restraining order against two Commission on Election (Comelec) resolutions limiting the airtime for political advertisements for radio and television. Instead, the high court — in an en banc session — directed the Comelec to answer within 10 days the allegations contained in the separate petitions filed by GMA Network Corp. and ABC Broadcasting Corp. (TV5). The two networks are questioning the legality of Comelec's Resolution 9615 issued in January, and Resolution 9631 in February, which set to 120 minutes the aggregate number of minutes for a local or national candidate’s broadcast campaign instead of on a per station basis. Both broadcast organizations claimed the resolutions were  restrictive and amounted to a state-sponsored suppression of the right of the people to know their candidates.   According to GMA, the Comelec resolutions violate the people’s right to suffrage under Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution and infringe on the constitutionally-guaranteed right to speech, of the press and of expression. On the other hand, TV5 argued  that the two resolutions are “replete with constitutional infirmities and will negatively impact its ability to freely deliver vital news and information to the public, especially during such a crucial time of elections.” — KBK, GMA News