The Philippines: ‘Outright harassment’: Comelec hit for painting over Leni-Kiko mural

  • Supporters of presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, were up in arms after personnel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) painted over their murals in a private property in Echague town in Isabela province.
  • In photos and videos shared by the Isabela Para Kay Leni-Kiko Facebook page on 17 Feb 22, Comelec personnel used white paint to cover the pink mural that members of the Echague for Leni-Kiko volunteer group had made to help promote the opposition tandem in their town.
  • The poll body agents were escorted by armed police officers. The painting depicted the faces of the candidates, a pink rose symbolizing Robredo’s campaign, and her tagline, “Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat,” which in English means that under an honest government, everyone’s lives would be better.
  • Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez slammed the mural takedown, saying Comelec has gone “beyond what they are legally empowered to do.” The camps of Robredo and Pangilinan are now mulling possible cases to be filed against Comelec.
  • “Again, this is clearly beyond the scope of the law and a violation of the rule laid down by the SC in Diocese of Bacolod and other cases. That the Comelec actually went to the extent of painting over a mural on a privately owned wall goes well beyond what they are legally empowered to do,” Gutierrez told Rappler.
  • Isabela is part of the so-called “Solid North” provinces, where votes are commanded by the family of Robredo’s bitter rival and current poll front runner Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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