MANILA: In the run-up to Philippine elections in May next year to determine a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte, Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Wednesday that political advertising will be banned on its platform. The move comes amid pressure on social media platforms over their handling of political advertising during the US presidential election in 2020. Social media platforms have become political battlegrounds in the Southeast Asian nation, with studies showing Filipinos top the rankings globally for time spent on social media. Election advertisements that promote or oppose any political party or the candidacy of any person or party for public office, would not be allowed to run between Feb. 8 to May 9, 2022, Google said in an update to its political content policy. The dates cover the period of campaigning in the Philippines up to election day on May 9. Google said notifications would be sent to affected advertisers about the policy update. Google has banned political advertising on its platform before, including in Canada’s federal election in 2019 and before an election in Singapore in 2020. Social media platforms such as Facebook have aided Duterte’s popularity, with analysts crediting them with his 2016 election victory and his allies’ devastation in mid-term polls last year. The Philippines will elect a successor to Duterte, who is not eligible for re-election under the constitution but will run for a senatorial seat.