Comelec issues rules for online campaign

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For the first time in the country?s history, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has included the Web or online media as one of the areas where it would regulate election-related spending.

The poll body has introduced the first rules on campaigning online in anticipation of candidates for the May 13, 2013 using cyberspace to promote themselves to the electorate during the campaign period, according to a report of government-run Philippine News Agency.

Based on Resolution No. 9615, the Comelec will only allow the following sizes for online materials for each candidate.

The sizes (in pixels): medium (300 x 250); square pop-up (250×250); vertical rectangle (240×400); large rectangle (336×280); rectangle (180×150); 3:1 rectangle (300×100);

Pop-under (7.20×300); full banner (468×60); half banner (234×60); micro bar (88×31); button 1 (120×90); button 2 (120×60); vertical banner (120×240); square button (125×125);

Leaderboard (728×90); wide skyscrapers (160×600); skyscraper (120×600); and half-page ad (300×600).

The poll body added that online advertisements shall ?not be published more than three times in a week per website? during the campaign period.

?For this purpose, the exhibition or display of the online advertisement for any length of time, regardless of frequency, within a 24-hour period, shall be construed as one instance of publication,? the Comelec said.

The poll agency, however, said personal opinions, views, and preferences for candidates contained in blogs shall not be considered acts of election campaigning or partisan political activity unless expressed by government officials.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, violations of the rules and regulations, based on the provisions of the Fair Election Act, shall constitute an election offense which carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment as well as removal of right to vote and run for public office, as per the Omnibus Election Code.

The campaign period for national candidates and party-lists will start on February 12 while local bets will begin on March 29. — PNA

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