Comelec supports bill penalizing nuisance candidates

Maris Federez   •   October 28, 2021   •   227

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced its support for the proposed bill that seeks to penalize those who will be declared ‘nuisance candidates’.

Under House Bill 9557 is the provision that will mete out a penalty of Php100,000 to a nuisance candidate and his supporter.

Director Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal, head of Comelec Law Department said that under Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code, a candidate is considered a nuisance if he is found guilty of making a mockery of the elections, running to cause confusion for bearing the same name with another candidate, and showing no real intention to run for a position.

“We support the imposition of the fine, the P100,000,” Casingal said.

“And we also would like to propose that those who have been declared as nuisance candidates be disqualified for running for 2 successive elections […] They can no longer substitute, your honor, if they have been declared as a nuisance candidate,” she insisted.

Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms chairperson Imee Marcos, however, asked Comelec first of a more detailed data on previous candidates who were declared a nuisance for the panel to further study the issue.

“We should have the data and the experience to compare. Nagdadahan-dahan din tayo kasi ayaw din ng Supreme Court na palibhasa […] sinasabi na hindi masyadong di kilala o walang pera dahil o walang partido, hindi naman basta-basta i-disqualify,” Marcos said.

Election lawyer, Atty. George Garcia, on the other hand, said that rather than meting out penalties or fines straightaway, the law must be amended first to clear out the details on the merits of declaring somebody a nuisance candidate.

Garcia believes the penalties will cause undue concern or fear among ordinary Filipinos who may have intentions of running for any government position.

“Minsan, halimbawa sinabi lang na ‘meron ka na bang political history? Nakatakbo na ba ikaw kahit barangay chairman man lang o naging barangay tanod?’ Hello? Nasaan sa batas natin na dapat naging barangay tanod o barangay chairman o kung anuman? Pero ‘yon, maniwala kayo’t sa hindi, pagka naghi-hearing patungkol sa nuisance, nasasabi ‘yun. Nababanggit. Pero wala naman sa batas ‘yon,” Garcia said.

“Kung ‘yon pa rin, yung Sec. 69 pa rin na nagde-define ng nuisance candidate, tapos bigla ka lang magdadagdag ng fine at saka ng perpetual disqualification to hold public office, halimbawa, sa aking palagay, parang magbo-border na siya sa violation ng equal protection clause under the Constitution,” he further said.

Ateneo School of Government executive director Professor Edmund Tayao also underscored the need to closely look into the proposed bill.

“There are those who really want to offer themselves as an alternative candidate to the public; albeit, however, they don’t have the resources to conduct a respectable campaign. Kasi yun ‘yung definition natin ng nuisance candidate. Nade-declare ka’ng nuisance candidate kung nag-file ka ng candidacy mo, kandidato ka, but it turns out hindi ka naman makakapagkampanya nationally. This has to be looked into closely.”

Meanwhile, Comelec is set to release a tentative list of candidates for the 2022 national and local elections on October 29. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

CA confirms Bulay’s appointment to COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of lawyer Rey Bulay as a new Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner.

Bulay got unanimous votes from the 25-man panel after the CA committee on constitutional commissions and offices conducted a hearing to determine his experience and capability to hold a sensitive government post.

President Rodrigo Duterte nominated Bulay to COMELEC in November to replace former COMELEC Commissioner Luie Tito Guia who retired in February 2020.

Prior to his appointment, Bulay served as Manila chief city prosecutor and a commissioner at the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

He also served as councilor of Muntinlupa City in the early part of his career as a public servant.

Bulay’s tenure in COMELEC will end on February 2, 2027.

Aplikasyon para sa exemption sa election gun ban at security detail recall, simula na sa Dec. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Simula Miyerkules, Disyembre 1, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Philippine National Police (PNP) at Commission on Elections para sa exemption sa gun ban at security detail recall kaugnay ng 2022 elections.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Augustus Alba, tatagal hanggang Mayo 25 ang application period.

Batay sa Comelec Resolution 10728, ipinagbabawal ang pagdadala ng baril kapag nagsimula na ang election period sa Enero 9 hanggang Hunyo 8, 2022.

Kailangan ding i-recall ang lahat ng security detail na dineploy ng Police Security and Protection Group sa mga pulitiko, opisyal ng pamahalaan at pribadong indibiduwal.

 Tanging ang mga may pahintulot lamang ng Comelec ang bibigyan ng bantay.

Exempted sa recall ng security detail ang Presidente, Bise Presidente, Senate President, House Speaker, Supreme Court Chief Justice, AFP chief of staff at major service commanders, COMELEC chairman, mga kalihim ng Department of National Defense at ng Interior and Local Government, at senior officers ng PNP.

Ang mga ire- recall na security detail o protection security personnel ay isasalang naman sa VIP security and protection refresher course.

Sa lahat ng interesado ay maaaring mag-apply online sa official website ng COMELEC.

Comelec to hold nationwide mock elections before year ends

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to conduct a nationwide mock election on December 29, 2021 as part of the poll body’s preparations for the 2022 national and local elections.

According to Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teopisto Elnas, Jr., mock elections will be done in Metro Manila and six other provinces.

In Luzon, it shall be conducted in the provinces of Isabela and Albay. In the Visayas, it shall be held in the Negros Oriental and Leyte; while in Mindanao, the mock elections will be conducted in Davao del Sur.

In Metro Manila, the selected cities for the mock elections are Pateros, Taguig, and Pasay; while in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, it will be conducted in Maguindanao province.

In total, the mock elections will be done in 34 barangays nationwide and will target 4,800 registered voters.

Comelec spokesperson, Director James Jimenez, said the commission will meet with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on December 4.

“To discuss the security preparations for the mock elections. Medyo ano kasi malaki yong mock elections, the mock elections will involve real voters and a real board of election inspectors. So there is a lot of concern about safety and security,” he said.

Jimenez added that the IATF is welcome to give its inputs on how the mock elections must be done.

“Hindi pa kasi final we’re just starting to prepare for it but it will be nationwide so that’s mean that it will have a location in Luzon, Visayas,and Mindanao,” Jimenez said. —/mbmf


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