By Tina G. Santos, January 7 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer


Image Credit to Philippine Star

Candidates in May’s midterm elections who show their biopics during the campaign will be prosecuted for violation of election laws, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Sunday.

Films about politicians running for office “should not be exhibited or played in theaters at all during the campaign period,” said James Jimenez, spokesperson for the Comelec.

Dela Rosa film

Showing the films despite a boycott is “still a violation of election rules,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez’s remarks came as supporters of senatorial aspirant Ronald dela Rosa prepared to release a film about the life of the former chief of the Philippine National Police who carried out President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that took the lives of thousands of suspects.

The killings are under investigation by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity.

Jimenez said the people behind the Dela Rosa biopic had better make sure it would not be exhibited during the campaign or they and their candidate would have problems with the law.

Last week, movie actor Robin Padilla, who reportedly plays the role of the former PNP chief in “Bato: The Gen. Ronald dela Rosa Story,” shared the trailer of the film on social media.

Under Republic Act No. 9006 — the Fair Elections Act — no movie, cinematograph or documentary portraying the life or biography of a candidate shall be publicly exhibited in a theater, television station, or any public forum during the campaign period.

Jail time

Breakers of the law face up to six years’ imprisonment, disqualification from holding public office, and loss of their right to vote.

The campaign for the Senate and for party-list representation in Congress begins on Feb. 12 and ends on May 11.

The races for the House of Representatives and local offices begin on March 30 and end on May 11.