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Endorsers of poll bets has option to take leave – Comelec exec

Posted on: February 15, 2010

Endorsers of poll bets has option to take leave – Comelec exec

By Anna Valmero, Leila Salaverria, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:50:00 02/15/2010

Filed Under: Celebrities, Entertainment (general), Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines – After stirring a storm with its statement that media personalities endorsing political candidates should take a leave from work, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday clarified its position on the controversy.

The Comelec en banc ruled that TV and movie stars need not go on leave from their jobs while campaigning for the poll candidates whom they support.

Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the law did not require Comelec to compel celebrities campaigning for candidates to go on leave from their work. He said that taking a leave from work is an option, not a requirement, for the media personalities.

However, he stressed that TV or movie actors or performers should not use their shows, aired through broadcast media, in campaigning for candidates.

Last week, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) urged actors and celebrities, who are appearing on political advertisements and rallies of several presidential bets, to take a leave from work based on the provisions under Fair Elections Act.

Ferdinand Rafanan, the poll body’s law director, said they are prepared to implement this provision of the law and will ask media personalities who are part of a politician’s campaign to take leave from work or compel their employers to make them take some time off.

Larrazabal, however, said Section 36 of en banc Resolution 8758 states that any mass media personality who is a campaign volunteer or employed by any candidate shall be deemed resigned “if so required by their employer” or shall take a leave at work as such during the campaign period.

“The networks or mass media outfits have the discretion if they would require their celebrity talents, who are endorsing political candidates, to take a leave from work. That is very clear in the provision of the law,” said Larrazabal.


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