News peg: “Comelec to open citizens’ watch vs poll violators”. The Comelec said today that it wold come out with an advertisement that would encourage the public to report election law violations of the Fair Election Act and its IRR, Comelec Resolution 9615, before Feb. 12, the start of the campaign period.
By the way, Comelec Resolution 9615 has a “right to reply” provision as follows:
COMELEC Resolution 9615 as amended Feb. 1, 2013:
“SECTION 14. Right to Reply. – All registered political parties, party-list groups or coalitions and bona fide candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published or aired against them. The reply shall be given publicity by the newspaper, television, and/or radio station which first printed or aired the charges with the same prominence or in the same page or section or in the same time slot as the first statement.
Registered political parties, partv-list groups or coalitions and bona fide candidates may invoke the right to reply by submitting within a non-extendible period of forty-eight (48) hours from the first broadcast or publication, a formal verified claim against the media outlet to the COMELEC, through the appropriate RED. The claim shall include a detailed enumeration .of the circumstances and occurrences which warrant the invocation of the right of reply and must be accompanied by supporting evidence, such as a copy of the publication or recording of the television or radio broadcast, as the case may be . If the supporting evidence is not yet available due to circumstances beyond the power of the . claimant, the latter shall supplement his claim as soon as the supporting evidence becomes available, without delay on the part of the claimant. The claimant must likewise furnish a copy of the verified claim and its attachments to the media outlet concerned prior to the filing of the claim with the COMELEC.
“The COMELEC, through the RED, shall review the verified claim within . forty-eight (48) hours from receipt thereof, including supporting evidence, and if circumstances warrant, give notice to the media outlet involved for appropriate action, which shall, within forty-eight (48) hours, submit its comment, answer or response to the RED, explaining the action it has taken to address the claim. The media outlet must likewise furnish a copy of the said comment, answer or response to the claimant invoking the right to reply. Should the claimant insist that his/her right to reply was not addressed, he/she may file the appropriate petition and/or complaint before the Commission on elections or its field offices, which shall be endorsed to the Clerk of the Commission.”