Various posts circulating in social media claim it is illegal under the law to conduct and release election surveys a week before the elections. This is false.

CLAIM:  Pre-election surveys are illegal under the Fair Elections Act.

Various posts circulating in social media claim that the release of pre-election surveys is illegal under section 5.4 of Republic Act (RA) 9006 or the Fair Election Act.

Section 5.4 of the law reads as follows:

Surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published fifteen (15) days before an election and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published seven (7) days before an election.

The social media posts also claim that survey firms like Pulse Asia might be held liable for violating this provision of the law.

This is FALSE.

The Supreme Court ruled in May 2001 that section 5.4 of RA 9006 is unconstitutional because “(1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period, and (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression.”

For this reason, pre-election surveys are legal.  — Rommel F. Lopez


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