GMA, TV5 fail to get TRO from SC
MANILA, Philippines - Television networks failed to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) on Tuesday, February 12 from the Supreme Court, which could have stopped the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from implementing its resolution on airtime limits they deemed "too restrictive."
The SC did not issue the TRO sought for by GMA network and TV5 on February 8 and instead asked the Comelec to comment.
In their separate petitions, the two networks said Comelec resolution No. 9615 and its amendment, Resolution No. 9631 impinge on free speech and violate the right to suffrage.
The said resolution sets the following limits on campaign advertisements:
- National candidates: 120 minutes in all TV networks and 180 minutes in all radio stations
- Local candidates, 60 minutes in all TV networks and 90 minutes in all radio stations
TV5 also said the rule is "vague as it does not provide for a definitive manner in which aggregation shall be made, thus making it difficult or impossible for media outlets to comply while subjecting them to possible criminal liability and loss of franchise permits."
Comelec will strictly enforce the aggregate limit this time, unlike in 2004, when then Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos set the limit on a per station basis.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr said the networks' objection to the limit, however, is based on their need to earn profit. Candidates spend millions on political advertisements.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas denied this, saying they oppose the Comelec resolution because it violates the public's right to information. - Rappler.com