Comelec appeals to candidates not to engage in campaign gimmicks

February 27, 2013 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 27 — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has appealed to all candidates not to engage in “gimmicks” — particularly involving money — during campaign sorties that might jeopardize their candidacies.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said aspirants should refrain from such promotions to avoid violating election laws.

“Huwag na sana silang gumagawa ng gimmick. Huwag na silang magpakita ng pera. Huwag na silang nag-a-announce ng raffle kasi hindi naman dapat. Kaya dumadami ang problema namin dahil sa andaming naiisip na gimmick ng mga kandidato,” he said.

The Comelec chief made the statement on the hills of a possible investigation on the alleged giving away of money by senatorial candidate Ernesto Maceda of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance at a public assembly in Manila reported to have been caught on television.

Brillantes said they are looking at the possibility of writing him (Maceda) a letter to explain his side on the issue.

“We have to investigate him just to check kung anong nangyari. So to be fair to the candidate, we have to write him a letter so he can explain,” he added.

Maceda, a former Senate President, was not immediately available for comment.

‫‏Section 97 of the Omnibus Election Code states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day”.

Based on video shown to the Comelec chief by GMA 7, Maceda was heard saying he is ready to give P500 to those who will be drawn during the raffle.

Likewise, he was heard saying “Huwag kalimutan, Number 21 sa inyong balota…”, referring to his assigned number in the official ballots.

An election offense carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and disqualification from holding public office.

Meanwhile, Atty. Esmeralda Ladra, Comelec Law Department chief said Team PNoy senatorial aspirant Jamby Madrigal, has yet to reply to the notice they sent regarding the online contest, where she is ready to give an iPad as a prize.

“As of now wala pang reply pero we have given her three days. The three days started last Tuesday and will end Thursday. We will know what to do by Friday,” she said. (PNA)

HBC/FGP/ABB

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