Pangasinan election officers warn bets holding bingos

April 17, 2013 4:21 am 

DAGUPAN CITY, April 16 — Provincial Elections Officer Marino Salas warned candidates who are mixing their political rallies with bingo extravaganza to attract crowd that they risk disqualification including imprisonment for serious violation of the Election Code..

Salas made the warning after being informed that a political party in Dagupan is conducting bingo in their political rallies nightly in every barangay which is obviously their strategy to attract a bigger crowd.

He said bingo is a form of gambling and therefore an election offense, punishable by disqualification if one is a candidate.

In addition, the erring candidate can face imprisonment of from one to 10 years.

Although there were reports being received by Salas that a political party is conducting bingos during their rally, he clarified that his office cannot act unless it receives a formal complaint from concerned individuals or parties.

The camp of Rep. Gina de Venecia, Liberal Party mayoralty candidate Belen Fernandez and vice mayoralty candidate Michael Fernandez are reportedly filing a formal complaint.

A report said the bingo extravaganza called "bingo bonanza" is being done nightly by the party of Mayor Benjamin Lim and his son and running mate Brian Lim, promising pot money of up to P17,000 for winners, including appliances.

Lim and his son, including their four candidates for councilors are reportedly present in every bingo bonanza.

The report stated that the latest barangay where the bingo bonanza was held is Bonuan Binloc where no less than the village chief were allegedly distributing bingo cards.

The group also held similar activity in Barangay Mamalingling and Pogo Chico. (PNA)

HBC/LVM/1730/RMA

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