Why not make mandatory for all candidates to say, “I approve of this message” in all their ads whether paid personally or by the party.
Much has been said about negative political ads. And in the May 2016 elections, much remains in terms of regulating political ads. Negative ads are contrasting ads and in the era of mediated politics, so many ways are being done to skirt away from the intent of the Fair Elections Law of Republic Act No.9006.
But what happens when a negative ad is released on the last week of the campaign? In a hotel contested race, that could mean an aided pass and if the opponent has not much money to spend to rebut, he loses the race. This is not fair. The Fair Elections Law provided under Section 4.1, “…any broadcast of election propaganda by television or radio for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible words "political advertisement paid for," followed by the true and correct name and address of the candidate or party for whose benefit the election propaganda was printed or aired.” The law further provides under Section 4.2, “If the broadcast is given free of charge by the radio or television station, it shall be identified by the words "airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by" followed by the true and correct name and address of the broadcast entity.” Clearly, under Section 4.3, “ print, broadcast or outdoor advertisements donated to the candidate or political party shall not be printed, published, broadcast or exhibited without the written acceptance by the said candidate or political party” (Underscoring supplied).
Comes now Senate Bill No. 1319 filed by Senator Koko Pimentel last 9 February 2017. The measure has been referred to the Committees on Electoral Reforms and Public Information and Mass Media. The bill compels candidates, groups or individuals to disclose their identification and circumstances and holds the same responsible for the non-verification of the truthfulness of the identity and address. How about the content of the ad?
Why not make mandatory for all candidates to say, “I approve of this message” in all their ads whether paid personally or by the party. This way we start cleaning our politics and people running will have the elementary decency to be responsible and accountable for their acts? About time, right?