Batas Pambansa Blg. 881
Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines
OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE - Article I
Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known and cited as the "Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines."
Sec. 2. Applicability. - This Code shall govern all election of public officers and, to the extent appropriate, all referenda and plebiscites.
Sec. 3. Election and campaign periods. - Unless otherwise fixed in special cases by the Commission on Elections, which hereinafter shall be referred to as the Commission, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of the election and shall end thirty days thereafter.
The period of campaign shall be as follows:
Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election - 90 days;
Election of Members of the Batasang Pambansa and Local Election - 45 days; and
Barangay Election - 15 days.
The campaign periods shall not include the day before and the day of the election.
However, in case of special elections under Article VIII, Section 5, Subsection (2) of the Constitution, the campaign period shall be forty-five days.
Sec. 4. Obligation to register and vote. - It shall be the obligation of every citizen qualified to vote to register and cast his vote.
Sec. 5. Postponement of election. - When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.
Sec. 6. Failure of election. - If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.
Sec. 7. Call of special election. -
In case a vacancy arises in the Batasang Pambansa eighteen months or more before a regular election, the Commission shall call a special election to be held within sixty days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term.
In case of the dissolution of the Batasang Pambansa, the President shall call an election which shall not be held earlier than forty-five nor later than sixty days from the date of such dissolution.
The Commission shall send sufficient copies of its resolution for the holding of the election to its provincial election supervisors and election registrars for dissemination, who shall post copies thereof in at least three conspicuous places preferably where public meetings are held in each city or municipality affected
Sec. 8. Election Code to be available in polling places. - A printed copy of this Code in English or in the national language shall be provided and be made available by the Commission in every polling place, in order that it may be readily consulted by any person in need thereof on the registration, revision and election days.
Sec. 9. Official mail and telegram relative to elections. - Papers connected with the election and required by this Code to be sent by public officers in the performance of their election duties shall be free of postage and sent by registered special delivery mail. Telegrams of the same nature shall likewise be transmitted free of charge by government telecommunications and similar facilities.
It shall be the duty of the Postmaster General, the Director of the Bureau of Telecommunications, and the managers of private telecommunication companies to transmit immediately and in preference to all other communications or telegrams messages reporting election results and such other messages or communications which the Commission may require or may be necessary to ensure free, honest and orderly elections.
Sec. 10. Election expenses. - Except in barangay elections, such expenses as may be necessary and reasonable in connection with the elections, referenda, plebiscites and other similar exercises shall be paid by the Commission. The Commission may direct that in the provinces, cities, or municipalities, the election expenses chargeable to the Commission be advanced by the province, city or municipality concerned subject to reimbursement by the Commission upon presentation of the proper bill.
Funds needed by the Commission to defray the expenses for the holding of regular and special elections, referenda and plebiscites shall be provided in the regular appropriations of the Commission which, upon request, shall immediately be released to the Commission. In case of deficiency, the amount so provided shall be augmented from the special activities funds in the general appropriations act and from those specifically appropriated for the purpose in special laws.
Sec. 11. Failure to assume office. - The office of any official elected who fails or refuses to take his oath of office within six months from his proclamation shall be considered vacant, unless said failure is for a cause or causes beyond his control.
Sec. 12. Disqualifications. - Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.
This disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon the declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence, unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT
Sec. 13. Regular election for President and Vice-President. - The regular election for President and Vice-President of the Philippines shall be held on the first Monday of May Nineteen hundred eighty seven (1987) and on the same day every six years thereafter. The President-elect and the Vice-President-elect shall assume office at twelve o'clock noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter when the term of his successor shall begin.
Sec. 14. Special election for President and Vice-President. - In case a vacancy occurs for the Office of the President and Vice-President, the Batasang Pambansa shall, at ten o'clock in the morning of the third day after the vacancy occurs, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call and within seven days enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President and a Vice-President to be held not earlier than forty-five days nor later than sixty days from the time of such call. The bill calling such special election shall be deemed certified under paragraph (2), Section 19, Article VIII of the Constitution and shall become law upon its approval on third reading by the Batasang Pambansa. Appropriations for the special election shall be charged against any current appropriations and shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph (4), Section 16 of Article VIII of the Constitution. The convening of the Batasang Pambansa cannot be suspended nor the special election postponed. No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs within seventy days before the date of the presidential election of 1987.
Sec. 15. Canvass of votes for President and Vice-President by the provincial or city board of canvassers.- The provincial, city, or district boards of canvassers in Metropolitan Manila, as the case may be, shall meet not later than six o'clock in the evening on election day to canvass the election returns that may have already been received by them, respectively. It shall meet continuously from day to day until the canvass is completed, but may adjourn only for the purpose of awaiting the other election returns. Each time the board adjourns, it shall make a total of all the votes cast for each candidate for President and for Vice-President, duly authenticated by the signatures and thumbmarks of all the members of the provincial, city or district board of canvassers, furnishing the Commission in Manila by the fastest means of communication a copy thereof, and making available the data contained therein to mass media and other interested parties. Upon the completion of the canvass, the board shall prepare a certificate of canvass showing the votes received by each candidate for the office of the President and for Vice-President, duly authenticated by the signatures and thumbmarks of all the members of the provincial, city or district board of canvassers. Upon the completion of the certificate of canvass, the board shall certify and transmit the said certificate of canvass to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa.
The provincial, city and district boards of canvassers shall prepare the certificate of canvass for the election of President and Vice-President, supported by a statement of votes by polling place, in quintuplicate by the use of carbon papers or such other means as the Commission shall prescribe to the end that all five copies shall be legibly produced in one handwriting. The five copies of the certificate of canvass must bear the signatures and thumbmarks of all the members of the board. Upon the completion of these certificates and statements, they shall be enclosed in envelopes furnished by the Commission and sealed, and immediately distributed as follows: the original copy shall be enclosed and sealed in the envelope directed to the Speaker and delivered to him at the Batasang Pambansa by the fastest possible means; the second copy shall likewise be enclosed and sealed in the envelope directed to the Commission; the third copy shall be retained by the provincial election supervisor, in the case of the provincial board of canvassers, and by the city election registrar, in the case of the city board of canvassers; and one copy each to the authorized representatives of the ruling party and the dominant opposition political party. Failure to comply with the requirements of this section shall constitute an election offense.
Sec. 16. Counting of votes for President and Vice-President by the Batasang Pambansa. - The certificates of canvass, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province, city or district in Metropolitan Manila shall be transmitted to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa, who shall, not later than thirty days after the day of the election, convene the Batasang Pambansa in session and in its presence open all the certificates of canvass, and the votes shall then be counted.
Sec. 17. Correction of errors in certificate and supporting statement already transmitted to the Speaker. - No correction of errors allegedly committed in the certificate of canvass and supporting statement already transmitted to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa shall be allowed, subject to the provisions of the succeeding section.
Sec. 18. Preservation of ballot boxes, their keys, and disposition of their contents. - Until after the completion by the Batasang Pambansa of the canvassing of the votes and until an uncontested proclamation of the President-elect and Vice-President-elect shall have been obtained, the provincial, city or district board of canvassers under the joint responsibility with the provincial, city or municipal treasurers shall provide for the safekeeping and storage of the ballot boxes in a safe and closed chamber secured by four padlocks: one to be provided by the corresponding board chairman; one by the provincial or city treasurer concerned; and one each by the ruling party and the accredited dominant opposition political party.
Sec. 19. When certificate of canvass is incomplete or bears erasures or alterations. - When the certificate of canvass, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province, city or district in Metropolitan Manila and transmitted to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa, as provided in the Constitution, appears to be incomplete, the Speaker shall require the board of canvassers concerned to transmit to his office, by personal delivery, the election returns from polling places that were not included in the certificate of canvass and supporting statements. Said election returns shall be submitted by personal delivery to the Speaker within two days from receipt of notice. When it appears that any certificate of canvass or supporting statement of votes by polling place bears erasures or alterations which may cast doubt as to the veracity of the number of votes stated therein and may affect the result of the election, the Batasang Pambansa upon request of the Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate concerned or his party shall, for the sole purpose of verifying the actual number of votes cast for President or Vice-President, count the votes as they appear in the copies of the election returns for the Commission. For this purpose, the Speaker shall require the Commission to deliver its copies of the election returns to the Batasang Pambansa.
Sec. 20. Proclamation of the President-elect and Vice-President-elect. - Upon the completion of the canvass of the votes by the Batasang Pambansa, the persons obtaining the highest number of votes for President and for Vice-President shall be declared elected; but in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes, one of them shall be chosen President or Vice-President, as the case may be, by a majority vote of all the Members of the Batasang Pambansa in session assembled.
In case there are certificates of canvass which have not been submitted to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa on account of missing election returns, a proclamation may be made if the missing certificates will not affect the results of the election.
In case the certificates of canvass which were not submitted on account of missing election returns will affect the results of the election, no proclamation shall be made. The Speaker shall immediately instruct the boards of canvassers concerned to obtain the missing election returns from the boards of election inspectors or, if the returns have been lost or destroyed upon prior authority from the Commission, to use any authentic copy of said election returns for the purpose of conducting the canvass, and thereafter issue the certificates of canvass. The certificates of canvass shall be immediately transmitted to the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa.
Proclamation shall be made only upon submission of all certificates of canvass or when the missing certificates of canvass will affect the results of the election.
ELECTION OF LOCAL OFFICIALS
Sec. 29. Regular elections of local officials. - The election of provincial, city and municipal officials whose positions are provided for by the Local Government Code shall be held throughout the Philippines in the manner herein prescribed on the first Monday of May, Nineteen hundred and eighty-six and on the same day every six years thereafter.
The officials elected shall assume office on the thirtieth day of June next following the election and shall hold office for six years and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.
All local incumbent officials whose tenure of office shall expire on March 23, 1986 shall hold office until June 30, 1986 or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified: Provided, That they cannot be suspended or removed without just cause.
Sec. 30. Component and highly urbanized cities. - Unless their respective charters provide otherwise, the electorate of component cities shall be entitled to vote in the election for provincial officials of the province of which it is a part.
The electorate of highly urbanized cities shall not vote in the election for provincial officials of the province in which it is located: Provided, however, That no component city shall be declared or be entitled to a highly urbanized city status within ninety days prior to any election.
ELECTION OF BARANGAY OFFICIALS
Sec. 37. Regular election of barangay officials. - The election for barangay officials shall be held throughout the Philippines in the manner prescribed on the second Monday of May Nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and on the same day every six years thereafter.
The officials elected shall assume office on the thirtieth day of June next following the election and shall hold office for six years and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.
Sec. 38. Conduct of elections. - The barangay election shall be non-partisan and shall be conducted in an expeditious and inexpensive manner.
No person who files A certificate of candidacy shall represent or allow himself to be represented as a candidate of any political party or any other organization; and no political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, professional, or other organization or organized group of whatever nature shall intervene in his nomination or in the filing of his certificate of candidacy or give aid or support, directly or indirectly, material or otherwise favorable to or against his campaign for election: Provided, That this provision shall not apply to the members of the family of a candidate within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity nor to the personal campaign staff of the candidate which shall not be more than one for every one hundred registered voters in his barangay: Provided, however, That without prejudice to any liability that may be incurred, no permit to hold a public meeting shall be denied on the ground that the provisions of this paragraph may or will be violated.
Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed as in any manner affecting or constituting an impairment of the freedom of individuals to support or oppose any candidate for any barangay office.
Sec. 39. Certificate of Candidacy. - No person shall be elected punong barangay or kagawad ng sangguniang barangay unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy in triplicate on any day from the commencement of the election period but not later than the day before the beginning of the campaign period in a form to be prescribed by the Commission. The candidate shall state the barangay office for which he is a candidate.
The certificate of candidacy shall be filed with the secretary of the sangguniang barangay who shall have the ministerial duty to receive said certificate of candidacy and to immediately acknowledge receipt thereof.
In case the secretary refuses to receive the same, or in the case of his absence or non-availability, a candidate may file his certificate with the election registrar of the city or municipality concerned.
The secretary of the sangguniang barangay or the election registrar, as the case may be, shall prepare a consolidated list all the candidates and shall post said list in the barangay hall and in other conspicuous places in the barangay at least ten days before the election.
Any elective or appointive municipal, city, provincial or national official or employee, or those in the civil or military service, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered automatically resigned upon the filing of certificate of candidacy for a barangay office.
Sec. 40. Board of Election Tellers. -
The Commission shall constitute not later than ten days before the election a board of election tellers in every barangay polling place, to be composed of a public elementary school teacher as chairman, and two members who are registered voters of the polling place concerned, but who are not incumbent barangay officials nor related to any candidate for any position in that barangay within the fourth civil degree of affinity or consanguinity.
In case no public elementary school teachers are available, the Commission shall designate any registered voter in the polling place who is not an incumbent barangay official nor related to any candidate for any position in that barangay within the fourth civil degree of affinity or consanguinity.
The board of election tellers shall supervise and conduct the election in their respective polling places, count the votes and thereafter prepare a report in triplicate on a form prescribed by the Commission. The original of this report shall be delivered immediately to the barangay board of canvassers. The second copy shall be delivered to the election registrar and the third copy shall be delivered to the secretary of the sangguniang barangay who shall keep the same on file.
Sec. 41. Registration of voters and list of voters. - Not later than seven days before the election, the board of election tellers shall meet in every barangay polling place to conduct the registration of barangay voters and to prepare the list of voters. Any voter may challenge the qualification of any person seeking to register and said challenge shall be heard and decided on the same day by the board of election tellers.
The final list of voters shall be posted in the polling places at least two days before election day. The registration of any voter shall not be transferred without written notice at least two days before the date of election. Not later than the day following the barangay election, the board of election tellers shall deliver the list of voters to the election registrar for custody and safekeeping.
Sec. 42. Polling places. -
The chairman of the board of election tellers shall designate the public school or any other public building within the barangay to be used as polling place in case the barangay has one election precinct.
For barangays with two or more election precincts the chairman of the board of canvassers shall designate the public school or any other public building to be used as polling place.
In case there is no public school or other public building that can be used as polling places, other appropriate private buildings may be designated: Provided, That such buildings are not owned or occupied or possessed by any incumbent elective public official or candidate, or his relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. The polling place shall be centrally located as possible, always taking into consideration the convenience and safety of the voters.
Sec. 43. Official barangay ballots. - The official barangay ballots shall be provided by the city or municipality concerned of a size and color to be prescribed by the Commission.
Such official ballots shall, before they are handed to the voter at the pollingplace, be authenticated in the presence of the voter, by the authorized representatives of the candidates and the chairmanand members of the board of election tellers who shall affix their signatures at the back thereof. Any ballot which is not authenticated shall be deemed spurious.
Sec. 44. Ballot boxes. - The Commission shall provide the ballot boxes for each barangay polling place, but each candidate may be permitted to provide a padlock for said ballot box.
Sec. 45. Postponement or failure of election. - When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any barangay, the Commission, upon a verified petition of an interested party and after due notice and hearing at which the interested parties are given equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein for such time as it may deem necessary.
If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or otheranalogous causes, the election in any barangay has not been held on the date herein fixed or has been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting therein and such failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission, on the basis of a verified petition of an interested party, and after due notice and hearing, at which the interested parties are given equal opportunity to be heard shall call for the holding or continuation of the election within thirty days after it shall have verified and found that the cause or causes for which the election has been postponed or suspended have ceased to exist or upon petition of at least thirty percent of the registered voters in the barangay concerned.
When the conditions in these areas warrant, upon verification by the Commission, or upon petition of at least thirty percent of the registered voters in the barangay concerned, it shall order the holding of the barangay election which was postponed or suspended.
Sec. 46. Barangay board of canvassers. -
The Commission shall constitute a board of canvassers at least seven days before the election in each barangay, to be composed of the senior public elementary school teacher in the barangay as chairman, and two other public elementary school teachers, as members.
In case the number of public elementary school teachers is inadequate, the Commission shall designate the chairman and members of the barangay board of canvassers from among the board of election tellers.
The barangay board of canvassers shall meet immediately in a building where a polling place is found and which is most centrally located in the barangay and after canvassing the results from the various polling places within the barangay, proclaim the winners. The board of canvassers shall accomplish the certificate of proclamation in triplicate on a form to be prescribed by the Commission. The original of the certificate shall be sent to the election registrar concerned, the second copy shall be delivered to the secretary of the sangguniang bayan or sangguniang panglunsod, as the case may be, and the third copy shall be kept on file by the secretary of the sangguniang barangay.
In a barangay where there is only one polling place, the barangay board of election tellers shall also be the barangay board of canvassers.
Sec. 47. Activities during the campaign period. - During the campaign period, the punong barangay if he is not a candidate, or any resident of the barangay designated by the Commission, shall convene the barangay assembly at least once for the purpose of allowing the candidates to appear at a joint meeting duly called, upon proper and with at least two days notice, to explain to the barangay voters their respective program of administration, their qualifications, and other information that may help enlighten voters in casting their votes.
The members of the barangay assembly may take up and discuss other matters relative to the election of barangay officials.
Sec. 48. Watchers. - Candidates may appoint two watchers each, to serve alternately, in every polling place within the barangay, who shall be furnished with a signed copy of the results of the election, in such form as the Commission may prescribe, immediately after the completion of the canvass.
Sec. 49. Inclusion and exclusion cases. - Inclusion and exclusion cases which shall be decided not later than seven before the date of the election shall be within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the municipal or metropolitan trial court. The notice of such decision shall be served to all parties within twenty-four hours following its promulgation and any party adversely affected may appeal therefrom within twenty-four hours to the regional trial court which shall finally decide the same not later than two days before the date of the election.
Sec. 50. Funding. - Local governments shall appropriate such funds to defray such necessary and reasonable expenses of the members of the board of election tellers, board of canvassers and the printing of election forms and procurement of other election paraphernalia, and the installation of polling booths.
Sec. 51. Penalties. - Violations of any provisions of this Article shall constitute prohibited acts and shall be prosecuted and penalized in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Sec. 52. Powers and functions of the Commission on Elections. - In addition to the powers and functions conferred upon it by the Constitution, the Commission shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly and honest elections, and shall:
Exercise direct and immediate supervision and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national or local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections. In addition, it may authorize CMT cadets eighteen years of age and above to act as its deputies for the purpose of enforcing its orders.
The Commission may relieve any officer or employee referred to in the preceding paragraph from the performance of his duties relating to electoral processes who violates the election law or fails to comply with its instructions, orders, decisions or rulings, and appoint his substitute. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the corresponding proper authority shall suspend or remove from office any or all of such officers or employees who may, after due process, be found guilty of such violation or failure.
During the period of the campaign and ending thirty days thereafter, when in any area of the country there are persons committing acts of terrorism to influence people to vote for or against any candidate or political party, the Commission shall have the power to authorize any member or members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Integrated National Police or any similar agency or instrumentality of the government, except civilian home defense forces, to act as deputies for the elections.
Promulgate rules and regulations implementing the provisions of this Code or other laws which the Commission is required to enforce and administer, and require the payment of legal fees and collect the same in payment of any business done in the Commission, at rates that it may provide and fix in its rules and regulations.
Rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission to implement the provisions of this Code shall take effect on the sixteenth day after publication in the Official Gazette or in at least daily newspapers of general circulation. Orders and directives issued by the Commission pursuant to said rules and regulations shall be furnished by personal delivery to accredited political parties within forty-eight hours of issuance and shall take effect immediately upon receipt.
In case of conflict between rules, regulations, orders or directives of the Commission in the exercise of its constitutional powers and those issued by any other administrative office or agency of the government concerning he same matter relative to elections, the former shall prevail.
Summon the parties to a controversy pending before it, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and take testimony in any investigation or hearing before it, and delegate such power to any officer of the Commission who shall be a member of the Philippine Bar. In case of failure of a witness to attend, the Commission, upon proof of service of the subpoena to said witnesses, may issue a warrant to arrest witness and bring him before the Commission or the officer before whom his attendance is required.
Any controversy submitted to the Commission shall, after compliance with the requirements of due process, be immediately heard and decided by it within sixty days from submission thereof. No decision or resolution shall be rendered by the Commission either en banc or by division unless taken up in a formal session properly convened for the purpose.
The Commission may, when necessary, avail of the assistance of any national or local law enforcement agency and/or instrumentality of the government to execute under its direct and immediate supervision any of its final decisions, orders, instructions or rulings.
Punish contempts provided for in the Rules of Court in the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein. Any violation of any final and executory decision, order or ruling of the Commission shall constitute contempt thereof.
Enforce and execute its decisions, directives, orders and instructions which shall have precedence over those emanating from any other authority, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus proceedings.
Prescribe the forms to be used in the election, plebiscite or referendum.
Procure any supplies, equipment, materials or services needed for the holding of the election by public bidding: Provided, That, if it finds the requirements of public bidding impractical to observe, then by negotiations or sealed bids, and in both cases, the accredited parties shall be duly notified.
Prescribe the use or adoption of the latest technological and electronic devices, taking into account the situation prevailing in the area and the funds available for the purpose: Provided, That the Commission shall notify the authorized representatives of accredited political parties and candidates in areas affected by the use or adoption of technological and electronic devices not less than thirty days prior to the effectivity of the use of such devices.
Carry out a continuing and systematic campaign through newspapers of general circulation, radios and other media forms to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about election laws, procedures, decisions, and other matters relative to the work and duties of the Commission and the necessity of clean, free, orderly and honest electoral processes.
Enlist non-partisan group or organizations of citizens from the civic, youth, professional, educational, business or labor sectors known for their probity, impartiality and integrity with the membership and capability to undertake a coordinated operation and activity to assist it in the implementation of the provisions of this Code and the resolutions, orders and instructions of the Commission for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly and honest elections in any constituency.
Such groups or organizations shall function under the direct and immediate control and supervision of the Commission and shall perform the following specific functions and duties:
1. Before Election Day:
Undertake an information campaign on salient features of this Code and help in the dissemination of the orders, decisions and resolutions of the Commission relative to the forthcoming election.
Wage a registration drive in their respective areas so that all citizens of voting age, not otherwise disqualified by law may be registered.
Help cleanse the list of voters of illegal registrants, conduct house-to-house canvass if necessary, and take the appropriate legal steps towards this end.
Report to the Commission violations of the provisions of this Code on the conduct of the political campaign, election propaganda and electoral expenditures.
2. On Election Day:
Exhort all registered voters in their respective areas to go to their polling places and cast their votes.
Nominate one watcher for accreditation in each polling place and each place of canvass who shall have the same duties, functions and rights as the other watchers of political parties and candidates. Members or units of any citizen group or organization so designated by the Commission except its lone duly accredited watcher, shall not be allowed to enter any polling place except to vote, and shall, if they so desire, stay in an area at least fifty meters away from the polling place.
Report to the peace authorities and other appropriate agencies all instances of terrorism, intimidation of voters, and other similar attempts to frustrate the free and orderly casting of votes.
Perform such other functions as may be entrusted to such group or organization by the Commission.
The designation of any group or organization made in accordance herewith may be revoked by the Commission upon notice and hearing whenever by its actuations such group or organization has shown partiality to any political party or candidate, or has performed acts in excess or in contravention of the functions and duties herein provided and such others which may be granted by the Commission.
Conduct hearings on controversies pending before it in the cities or provinces upon proper motion of any party, taking into consideration the materiality and number of witnesses to be presented, the situation prevailing in the area and the fund available for the purpose.
Fix other reasonable periods for certain pre-election requirements in order that voters shall not be deprived of their right of suffrage and certain groups of rights granted them in this Code.
Unless indicated in this Code, the Commission is hereby authorized for fix the appropriate period for the various prohibited acts enumerated herein, consistent with the requirements of free, orderly, and honest elections.
Sec. 53. Field offices of the Commission. - The Commission shall have the following field offices:
Regional Election Office, headed by the Regional Election Director and assisted by the Assistant Regional Director and such other subordinate officers or employees as the Commission may appoint.
Provincial Election Office, headed by the Provincial Election Supervisor and assisted by such other subordinate officers or employees as the Commission may appoint.
City/Municipal Election Office, headed by the City/Municipal Registrar who shall be assisted by an election clerk and such other employees as the Commission may appoint.
The Commission may delegate its powers and functions or order the implementation or enforcement of its orders, rulings, or decisions through the heads of its field offices.
Sec. 54. Qualifications. - Only members of the Philippines Bar shall be eligible for appointment to the position of regional director, assistant regional director, provincial election supervisor and election registrar: Provided, however, That if there are no members of the Philippine Bar available for appointment as election registrar, except in cities and capital towns, graduates of duly recognized schools of law, liberal arts, education or business administration who possess the appropriate civil service eligibility may be appointed to said position.
Sec. 55. Office space. - The local government concerned shall provide a suitable place for the office of the provincial election supervisor and his staff and the election registrar and his staff: Provided, That in case of failure of the local government concerned to provide such suitable place, the provincial election supervisor or the election registrar, as the case may be, upon prior authority of the Commission and notice to the local government concerned, may lease another place for office and the rentals thereof shall be chargeable to the funds of the local government concerned.
Sec. 56. Changes in the composition, distribution or assignment of field offices. - The Commission may make changes in the composition, distribution and assignment of field offices, as well as its personnel, whenever the exigencies of the service and the interest of free, orderly, and honest election so require: Provided, That such changes shall be effective and enforceable only for the duration of the election period concerned and shall not affect the tenure of office of the incumbents of positions affected and shall not constitute a demotion, either in rank or salary, nor result in change of status: and Provided, further, That there shall be no changes in the composition, distribution or assignment within thirty days before election, except for cause and after due notice and hearing, and that in no case shall a regional or assistant regional director be assigned to a region; a provincial election supervisor to a province; or a city or municipal election registrar to a city or municipality, where he and/or his spouse are related to any candidate within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as the case may be.
Sec. 57. Measures to ensure enforcement. - For the effective enforcement of the provisions of this Code, the Commission is further vested and charged with the following powers, duties and responsibilities:
To issue search warrants after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses
To stop any illegal election activity, or confiscate, tear down, and stop any unlawful, libelous, misleading or false election propaganda, after due notice and hearing.
To inquire into the financial records of candidates and any organization or group of persons, motu proprio or upon written representation for probable cause by any candidate or group of persons or qualified voter, after due notice and hearing.
For purposes of this section, the Commission may avail itself of the assistance of the Commission on Audit, the Central Bank, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Integrated National Police of the Philippines, barangay officials, and other agencies of the government.
Sec. 58. Disqualifications of members of the Commission. - The chairman and members of the Commission shall be subject to the canons of judicial ethics in the discharge of their functions.
No chairman or commissioner shall sit in any case in which he has manifested bias or prejudice for or against or antagonism against any party thereto and in connection therewith, or in any case in which he would be disqualified under the Rules of Court. If it be claimed that the chairman or a commissioner is disqualified as above provided, the party objecting to his competency may file his objection in writing with the Commission stating the ground therefor. The official concerned shall continue to participate in the hearing or withdrawn therefrom in accordance with his determination of the question of his disqualification. The decision shall forthwith be made in writing and filed with the other papers of the case in accordance with the Rules of Court. If a disqualification should result in a lack of quorum in the Commission sitting en banc, the Presiding Justice of the Intermediate Appellate Court shall designate a justice of said court to sit in said case for the purpose of hearing and reaching a decision thereon.
Sec. 59. Publication of official ballots and election returns and printing thereof. - The Commission shall publish at least ten days before an election in a newspaper of general circulation certified data on the number of official ballots and election returns and the names and addresses of the printers and the number printed by each.
Sec. 60. Political party. - "Political party" or "party", when used in this Act, means an organized group of persons pursuing the same ideology, political ideas or platforms of government and includes its branches and divisions. To acquire juridical personality, quality it for subsequent accreditation, and to entitle it to the rights and privileges herein granted to political parties, a political party shall first be duly registered with the Commission. Any registered political party that, singly or in coalition with others, fails to obtain at least ten percent of the votes cast in the constituency in which it nominated and supported a candidate or candidates in the election next following its registration shall, after notice and hearing be deemed to have forfeited such status as a registered political party in such constituency.
Sec. 61. Registration. - Any organized group of persons seeking registration as a national or regional political party may file with the Commission a verified petition attaching thereto its constitution and by-laws, platform or program of government and such other relevant information as may be required by the Commission. The Commission shall, after due notice and hearing, resolve the petition within ten days from the date it is submitted for decision.
No religious sect shall be registered as a political party and no political party which seeks to achieve its goal through violence shall be entitled to accreditation.
Sec. 62. Publication of petition for registration or accreditation. - The Commission shall require publication of the petition for registration or accreditation in at least three newspapers of general circulation and shall, after due notice and hearing, resolve the petition within fifteen days from the date it is submitted for decision.
ELIGIBILITY OF CANDIDATES AND CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY
Sec. 63. Qualifications for President and Vice-President of the Philippines. - No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.
Sec. 64. Qualifications for Members of the Batasang Pambansa. - No person shall be elected Member of the Batasang Pambansa as provincial, city or district representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter in the constituency in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than six months immediately preceding the day of the election.
A sectoral representative shall be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, able to read and write, a resident of the Philippines, able to read and write, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election, a bona fide member of the sector he seeks to represent, and in the case of a representative of the agricultural or industrial labor sector, shall be a registered voter, and on the day of the election is at least twenty-five years of age.
The youth sectoral representative should at least be eighteen and not be more than twenty-five years of age on the day of the election: Provided, however, That any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of twenty-five years during his term shall be entitled to continue in office until the expiration of his term.
Sec. 65. Qualifications of elective local officials. - The qualifications for elective provincial, city, municipal and barangay officials shall be those provided for in the Local Government Code.
Sec. 66. Candidates holding appointive office or positions. - Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Sec. 67. Candidates holding elective office. - Any elective official, whether national or local, running for any office other than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity, except for President and Vice-President, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Sec. 68. Disqualifications. - Any candidate who, in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of, or found by the Commission of having
given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions;
committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy;
spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code;
solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89, 95, 96, 97 and 104; or
violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v, and cc, subparagraph 6, shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate, or if he has been elected, from holding the office. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code, unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws.
Sec. 69. Nuisance candidates. - The Commission may motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if it is shown that said certificate has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.
Sec. 70. Guest candidacy. - A political party may nominate and/or support candidates not belonging to it.
Sec. 71. Changing political party affiliation. - An elective official may change his party affiliation for purposes of the election next following his change of party within one year prior to such election.
Sec. 72. Effects of disqualification cases and priority. - The Commission and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the election in which the disqualification is sought.
Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. Nevertheless, if for any reason, a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office.
Sec. 73. Certificate of candidacy. - No person shall be eligible for any elective public office unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy within the period fixed herein.
A person who has filed a certificate of candidacy may, prior to the election, withdraw the same by submitting to the office concerned a written declaration under oath.
No person shall be eligible for more than one office to be filled in the same election, and if he files his certificate of candidacy for more than one office, he shall not be eligible for any of them. However, before the expiration of the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy, the person who was filed more than one certificate of candidacy may declare under oath the office for which he desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate of candidacy for the other office or offices.
The filing or withdrawal of a certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred.
Sec. 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy. - The certificate of candidacy shall state that the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and that he is eligible for said office; if for Member of the Batasang Pambansa, the province, including its component cities, highly urbanized city or district or sector which he seeks to represent; the political party to which he belongs; civil status; his date of birth; residence; his post office address for all election purposes; his profession or occupation; that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that he will obey the laws, legal orders, and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge.
Unless a candidate has officially changed his name through a court approved proceeding, a certificate shall use in a certificate of candidacy the name by which he has been baptized, or if has not been baptized in any church or religion, the name registered in the office of the local civil registrar or any other name allowed under the provisions of existing law or, in the case of a Muslim, his Hadji name after performing the prescribed religious pilgrimage: Provided, That when there are two or more candidates for an office with the same name and surname, each candidate, upon being made aware or such fact, shall state his paternal and maternal surname, except the incumbent who may continue to use the name and surname stated in his certificate of candidacy when he was elected. He may also include one nickname or stage name by which he is generally or popularly known in the locality.
The person filing a certificate of candidacy shall also affix his latest photograph, passport size; a statement in duplicate containing his bio-data and program of government not exceeding one hundred words, if he so desires.
Sec. 75. Filing and distribution of certificate of candidacy. - The certificate of candidacy shall be filed on any day from the commencement of the election period but not later than the day before the beginning of the campaign period: Provided, That in cases of postponement or failure of election under Sections 5 and 6 hereof, no additional certificate of candidacy shall be accepted except in cases of substitution of candidates as provided under Section 77 hereof.
The certificates of candidacy for President and Vice-President of the Philippines shall be filed in ten legible copies with the Commission which shall order the printing of copies thereof for distribution to all polling places. The certificates of candidacy for the other offices shall be filed in duplicate with the offices herein below mentioned, together with a number of clearly legible copies equal to twice the number of polling places in the province, city, district, municipality or barangay, as the case may be:
For representative in the Batasang Pambansa, with the Commission, the provincial election supervisor, city election registrar in case of highly urbanized cities, or an officer designated by the Commission having jurisdiction over the province, city or representative district who shall send copies thereof to all polling places in the province, city or district;
For provincial offices, with the provincial election supervisor of the province concerned who shall send copies thereof to all polling places in the province;
For city and municipal offices, with the city or municipal election registrar who shall send copies thereof to all polling places in the city or municipality; and
For punong barangay or kagawad ng sangguniang barangay, the certificates of candidacy shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of Section 39 of Article VI of this Code.
The duly authorized receiving officer shall immediately send the original copy of all certificates of candidacy received by him to the Commission.
Sec. 76. Ministerial duty of receiving and acknowledging receipt. - The Commission, provincial election supervisor, election registrar or officer designated by the Commission or the board of election inspectors under the succeeding section shall have the ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of the certificate of candidacy.
Sec. 77. Candidates in case of death, disqualification or withdrawal of another. - If after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy, an official candidate of a registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, only a person belonging to, and certified by, the same political party may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the candidate who died, withdrew or was disqualified. The substitute candidate nominated by the political party concerned may file his certificate of candidacy for the office affected in accordance with the preceding sections not later than mid-day of the day of the election. If the death, withdrawal or disqualification should occur between the day before the election and mid-day of election day, said certificate may be filed with any board of election inspectors in the political subdivision where he is a candidate, or, in the case of candidates to be voted for by the entire electorate of the country, with the Commission.
Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. - A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election.
CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION PROPAGANDA
Sec. 79. Definitions. - As used in this Code:
The term "candidate" refers to any person aspiring for or seeking an elective public office, who has filed a certificate of candidacy by himself or through an accredited political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties;
The term "election campaign" or "partisan political activity" refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office which shall include:
Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate;
Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades, or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate;
Making speeches, announcements or commentaries, or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office;
Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; or
Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges or support for or against a candidate.
The foregoing enumerated acts if performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for candidacy to a public office by a political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties shall not be considered as election campaign or partisan election activity.
Public expressions or opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party convention shall not be construed as part of any election campaign or partisan political activity contemplated under this Article.
Sec. 80. Election campaign or partisan political activity outside campaign period. - It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or candidate, or for any party, or association of persons, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity except during the campaign period: Provided, That political parties may hold political conventions or meetings to nominate their official candidates within thirty days before the commencement of the campaign period and forty-five days for Presidential and Vice-Presidential election.
Sec. 81. Intervention of foreigners. - It shall be unlawful for any foreigner, whether judicial or natural person, to aid any candidate or political party, directly or indirectly, or take part in or influence in any manner any election, or to contribute or make any expenditure in connection with any election campaign or partisan political activity.
Sec. 82. Lawful election propaganda. - Lawful election propaganda shall include
Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers or other written or printed materials of a size not more than eight and one-half inches in width and fourteen inches in length;
Handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any particular candidate;
Cloth, paper or cardboard posters, whether framed or posted, with an area exceeding two feet by three feet, except that, at the site and on the occasion of a public meeting or rally, or in announcing the holding of said meeting or rally, streamers not exceeding three feet by eight feet in size, shall be allowed: Provided, That said streamers may not be displayed except one week before the date of the meeting or rally and that it shall be removed within seventy-two hours after said meeting or rally; or
All other forms of election propaganda not prohibited by this Code as the Commission may authorize after due notice to all interested parties and hearing where all the interested parties were given an equal opportunity to be heard: Provided, That the Commission's authorization shall be published in two newspapers of general circulation throughout the nation for at least twice within one week after the authorization has been granted.
Sec. 83. Removal, destruction or defacement of lawful election propaganda prohibited. - It shall be unlawful for any person during the campaign period to remove, destroy, obliterate, or in any manner deface or tamper with, or prevent the distribution of lawful election propaganda.
Sec. 84. Requirements for published or printed election propaganda. - Any newspaper, newsletter, newsweekly, gazette or magazine advertising, posters, pamphlets, circulars, handbills, bumper stickers, streamers, simple list of candidates or any published or printed political matter for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office shall bear and be identified by the words "paid for by" followed by the true and correct name and address of the payor and by the words "printed by" followed by the true and correct name and address of the printer.
Sec. 85. Prohibited forms of election propaganda. - It shall be unlawful:
To print, publish, post or distribute any poster, pamphlet, circular, handbill, or printed matter urging voters to vote for or against any candidate unless they bear the names and addresses of the printer and payor as required in Section 84 hereof;
To erect, put up, make use of, attach, float or display any billboard, tinplate-poster, balloons and the like, of whatever size, shape, form or kind, advertising for or against any candidate or political party;
To purchase, manufacture, request, distribute or accept electoral propaganda gadgets, such as pens, lighters, fans of whatever nature, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hats, bandanas, matches, cigarettes and the like, except that campaign supporters accompanying a candidate shall be allowed to wear hats and/or shirts or T-shirts advertising a candidate;
To show or display publicly any advertisement or propaganda for or against any candidate by means of cinematography, audio-visual units or other screen projections except telecasts which may be allowed as hereinafter provided; and
For any radio broadcasting or television station to sell or give free of charge air time for campaign and other political purposes except as authorized in this Code under the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission pursuant thereto.
Any prohibited election propaganda gadget or advertisement shall be stopped, confiscated or torn down by the representative of the Commission upon specific authority of the Commission.
Sec. 86. Regulation of election propaganda through mass media. -
The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the sale of air time for partisan political purposes during the campaign period to insure the equal time as to duration and quality in available to all candidates for the same office or political parties at the same rates or given free of charge; that such rates are reasonable and not higher than those charged other buyers or users of air time for non-political purposes; that the provisions of this Code regarding the limitation of expenditures by candidates and political parties and contributions by private persons, entities and institutions are effectively enforced; and to ensure that said radio broadcasting and television stations shall not unduly allow the scheduling of any program or permit any sponsor to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or political party by unduly or repeatedly referring to or including said candidate and/or political party in such program respecting, however, in all instances the right of said stations to broadcast accounts of significant or newsworthy events and views on matters of public interest.
All contracts for advertising in any newspaper, magazine, periodical or any form of publication promoting or opposing the candidacy of any person for public office shall, before its implementation, be registered by said newspaper, magazine, periodical or publication with the Commission. In every case, it shall be signed by the candidate concerned or by the duly authorized representative of the political party.
No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.
Any radio or television stations, including that owned or controlled by the Government, shall give free of charge equal time and prominence to an accredited political party or its candidates if it gives free of charge air time to an accredited political party or its candidates for political purposes.
In all instances, the Commission shall supervise the use and employment of press, radio and television facilities so as to give candidates equal opportunities under equal circumstances to make known their qualifications and their stand on public issues within the limits set forth in this Code on election spending.
Rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission under and by authority of this section shall take effect on the seventh day after their publication in at least two daily newspapers of general circulation. Prior to the effectivity of said rules and regulations, no political advertisement or propaganda for or against any candidate or political party shall be published or broadcast through the mass media.
Violation of the rules and regulations of the Commission issued to implement this section shall be an election offense punishable under Section 264 hereof.
Sec. 87. Rallies, meetings and other political activities. - Subject to the requirements of local ordinances on the issuance of permits, any political party supporting official candidates or any candidate individually or jointly with other aspirants may hold peaceful political rallies, meetings, and other similar activities during the campaign period: Provided, That all applications for permits to hold meetings, rallies and other similar political activities, receipt of which must be acknowledged in writing and which application shall be immediately posted in a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building, shall be acted upon in writing by local authorities concerned within three days after the filing thereof and any application not acted upon within said period shall be deemed approved: and Provided, further, That denial of any application for said permit shall be appealable to the provincial election supervisor or to the Commission whose decision shall be made within forty-eight hours and which shall be final and executory: Provided, finally, That one only justifiable ground for denial is a prior written application by any candidate or political party for the same purpose has been approved.
Sec. 88. Public rally. - Any political party or candidate shall notify the election registrar concerned of any public rally said political party or candidate intends to organize and hold in the city or municipality, and within seven working days thereafter submit to the election registrar a statement of expenses incurred in connection therewith.
Sec. 89. Transportation, food and drinks. - It shall be unlawful for any candidate, political party, organization, or any person to give or accept, free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food or drinks or things of value during the five hours before and after a public meeting, on the day preceding the election, and on the day of the election; or to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such purpose.
Sec. 90. Comelec space. - The Commission shall procure space in at least one newspaper of general circulation in every province or city: Provided, however, That in the absence of said newspaper, publication shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in said province or city, which shall be known as "Comelec Space" wherein candidates can announce their candidacy. Said space shall be allocated, free of charge, equally and impartially by the Commission among all candidates within the area in which the newspaper is circulated.
Sec. 91. Comelec poster area. - Whenever practicable, the Commission shall also designate and provide for a common poster are in strategic places in each town wherein candidates can announce and further their candidacy through posters, said space to be likewise allocated free of charge, equally and impartially by the Commission among all the candidates concerned.
Sec. 92. Comelec time. - The Commission shall procure radio and television time to be known as "Comelec Time" which shall be allocated equally and impartially among the candidates within the area of coverage of all radio and television stations. For this purpose, the franchise of all radio broadcasting and television station are hereby amended so as to provide radio television time, free of charge, during the period of the campaign.
Sec. 93. Comelec information bulletin. - The Commission shall cause the printing, and supervise the dissemination of bulletins to be known as "Comelec Bulletin" which shall be of such size as to adequately contain the picture, bio-data and program of government of every candidate. Said bulletin shall be disseminated to the voters or displayed in such places as to give due prominence thereto. Any candidate may reprint at his expense, any "Comelec Bulletin" upon prior authority of the Commission: Provided, That the printing of the names of the different candidates with their bio-data must be in alphabetical order irrespective of party affiliation.