Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes reported that they are thinking of making the group behind the Anti-Epal Movement a citizen arm during the 2013 election campaign.
In an open dialogue between Comelec and Anti-Epal Movement held on Monday, members of the movement sought accreditation from Comelec aiming to help in monitoring election law violators during the campaign period, according to Remate. They reasoned that they have enough members nationwide who can help monitor “epal” candidates.
However, Commissioner Elias Yusoph suggested that the group would be more effective as a citizen arm. Brillantes said they are still studying the proposal and that they will release a decision after their en banc session the same day.
On Thursday night, Brillantes openly invited proponents of the anti-epal campaign, through his Twitter account, for an open dialogue about premature campaigning.
In a series of tweets, Brillantes explained that the dialogue aims to provide an avenue for free and open discussion regarding premature campaigning among stakeholders and to seek immediate and long-term solutions to the problem.
“I think they can help us in terms of telling the public the truth regarding premature campaigning acts. That is all they do, tell the truth and it starts to become effective,” Brillantes was quoted in a Star report.
Last week, also on his Twitter account, Brillantes admitted that the poll commission is powerless when it comes to epal candidates or early campaigners. He cited the previous Supreme Court ruling as a hindrance to their fight against these candidates.
Brillantes recognized the effort of the anti-epal campaign and cited some politicians in Metro Manila and provinces who have started removing epal posters.
Anti-epal supporters have also tweeted their message of hope for the group, one message even coming from Comelec Commissioner James Jimenez.
“It’s a damned good thing that the anti-epal campaign is getting attraction,” Jimenez tweeted.
Anna Oposa also tweeted, “The #epalwatch movement shows that if the people will lead, the leaders will follow.”
Meanwhile, the Inquirer reported that a new app for all the epal-watchers will be made available to smartphones soon.
Organizers of the Anti-Epal movement was reported to have partnered with Kwan Initiatives, a local technology start-up, for the project. Kwan Initiatives already has a mobile application called Instapatrol where users can share their photos of different annoyances in Metro Manila such as traffic congestion, potholes, and traffic delinquencies.
Under the new partnership, a new button for “anti-epal” photos will be added. Users will have the chance to quickly and easily share their photos of epal politicians to the internet at large.