‘45-day liquor ban too long’

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MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino photo: MMDA

Worried that unregulated alcohol consumption during the election period may not only spawn violence but also discourage an “intelligent discussion” of the issues, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has formally asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the liquor ban from two to 45 days.

But two Comelec officials expressed reservations on the proposal, noting that a ban that long could face legal hurdles and draw complaints from businesses that make or sell alcoholic drinks.

In a petition filed in the election body on Tuesday, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the two-day liquor ban imposed under the omnibus election code may not be enough to address “the evils and problems” caused by drinking binges especially during the election period.

Tolentino noted that the election period, which runs from Jan. 13 to June 12, also coincides with the fiesta season.

“The unfettered consumption of alcoholic beverages nationwide especially during this period does not aid intelligent discussion of election issues by our citizens,” he said, adding:

“With the election fever and the house-to-house campaigning of candidates (in full swing), consumption of alcoholic drinks is common. This situation does not augur well in areas where (there are) heated rivalries.”

The MMDA chairman, who previously served as Tagaytay City mayor for a decade, suggested that the liquor ban be implemented for a longer period, just like the five-month gun ban.

“Given the deleterious and far-reaching effects of alcohol, it stands to reason that the liquor ban should be in effect for a longer period,” he said.

But a day before the MMDA filed its petition at the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. expressed reservations on the proposal, saying a 45-day ban may be “too long.”

“We’ll be going up against (alcohol) manufacturers and sellers. That won’t sit well with big companies,” said Brillantes told reporters on Monday.

Brillantes said Comelec might just consider adding a day to the regular two-day liquor ban, which starts on the eve of election day. The midterm elections fall on May 13, a Monday.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. RAFFY LERMA

“But we will have to check the legality whether we can really add one day,” he added.

In an interview Tuesday following an en banc meeting, Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco said the poll body, after an informal discussion of the MMDA proposal, appeared not too keen on approving it.

“On my part, maybe three days is possible,” Velasco said. “Our concentration is for the purposes of voting.”

“We also have to consider the commercial value of the liquor ban,” he said, echoing Brillantes’ view. “There will certainly be businesses that will be affected.”

In an interview Tuesday, Tolentino elaborated on his rationale for an extended ban, saying that some politicians especially in the provinces are known to use alcohol to engage in a form of “vote buying.”

“In Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, the campaign is through drinking … It is a reality that during elections, campaigners provide the voters liquor. The [proposed extension of the] liquor ban is related to MMDA’s mandate, to our efforts to reduce fatal accidents.”

The MMDA has also asked the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, a poll monitoring group headed by Amb. Henrietta de Villa, to support its proposal.—With a report from Jodee Agoncillo

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Hindi pwele 45 days akyen negosyo maka lugi…

  • jtclassic

    From the article: “But we will have to check the legality whether we can really add one day,” he [Brilliantes] added.

    The Omnibus Election Code provides for a liquor ban on specific occasions. Section 261, which was the basis for the Comelec’s own resolutions on a liquor ban in previous elections, notwithstanding the fact that the Omnibus Election Code was enacted before the EDSA revolution, states as a prohibition, “Any person who sells, furnishes, offers, buys, serves or takes intoxicating liquor on the days fixed by law for the registration of voters in the polling place, or on the day before the election day or on election day… .” Since the law is specific on the days on which a liquor ban should be imposed, any addition (or subtraction, for that matter) should require an amendment to the law itself. Tolentino should be going to Congress to amend the law, not to the Comelec. Or is he just taking a shortcut to a Philippine-style Prohibition?

    Give the fellow a drink, so he can think clearly.

    • ang_dagat

      So would this ban he proposed also apply to Hotels and Restaurants in Manila. Is this guy crackers. The harm it would do to the tourist industry would be unrepairable. A foreign tourist visiting Saudi Arabia, can even get liquor legally in a hotel.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Why not ban it permanently instead of ‘as you see it fit’ category?  Anyway, we are a nation that considers the constitution a mere piece of paper anyone can refer to but not really understanding it’s meaning?  Every now and then politicians create issues that ran afoul of the law in general, our constitution in particular?  I think correct me if I am wrong, we are the only country on earth permanently employing a “Comelec”.  We have this agency as if we have elections everyday.

    I have been an electorate in this country I now consider my home.  I have yet to see a single official saying he or she comes from such office and tasked to oversee election process.  I go to a voting precinct  closes to my home drop my ballot and goes to my work?  What can be more simple as that?  By the time we finish dinner we know already winners?  All this without a Comelec mandating too many silly do’s and don’ts.  I wonder how many more decade do we need to learn simple acts like voting?

    • buttones

      Are we the only democratic nation that has a political police force who decides for whom we should vote? Who filter out the ’nuisance’ applicants, the ones who don’t have a penny in their pocket to offer anybody, who don’t have a name that means anything, who can barely act nor sing either, who can’t even punch their way out of a paper bag….. That is the question? Well I’m not too sure, I’ve asked this question before and never got an answer, but I have a inkling that we are the only one….
      And I have often wondered, that given the fact the election period is just a few months every three years what on earth do these people do meantime? Arrange biometric voting cards maybe? Nope!

  • rickysgreyes

    Stupid proposal

  • Ommm

     A person needs to be drunk to choose from the list of these scoundrels and idiots….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VNLEL6SV5GHRUCLB3WSZVOZCUA RockA

    Common sense is a rare commodity in our rulers.  Are these people brain damaged?

  • milespacker

    OA

  • Taiko_Kauna

    Here’s one “st*pid idea of tolentino. He wants the liquor industry and the businesses related to it to stop making money while the potential thieves in gov’t campaign for positions where they can steal effectively.  What will those elected steal if you hinder the flow of taxes out of the income of the industries affected by your s*up*d idea Mr. Tolentino? Gawin mong light bo*o.

  • John Jacob

    Why don’t they just ban all the candidates from drinking and ban their bodyguards in carrying firearms FOREVER.  Don’t mess with our inalienable right to bear a bottle to celebrate our own small milestones in life. 

  • http://twitter.com/lattuaztar Rogelio Guillermo

    The rationale that alcohol consumption makes citizens unable to discuss issues intelligently does seem to discredit the long standing adage, ‘drink wine to double your mind’.

    • buttones

      Or -‘In vino veritas’ in wine there is the truth- maybe if the electorate arrived at the ballot ’three sheets to the wind’ the truth might come out………

      • http://twitter.com/lattuaztar Rogelio Guillermo

        LOL… then a govt of, by, and for the ‘drunk’ people that will soon perish from the earth ensues…

      • buttones

        On a more serious note, the two or three day ban is not too bad but the details are not that clear really- yes I can understand it’s not a good idea to have a ‘wavering’ line outside the polling booth, but this extension to 45 days is just unworkable and impractical, what if somebody is getting married during that time, would they have to get a special license from Comelec? You can’t have a wedding without a glass of bubbly, and what about the wakes? OMG!

        Anyway, it’s unlikely to happen, I can only suggest Tolentino attend to, and focus on matters of development in MM, long time since I was there but to me it looked like the whole area had been put together by a team of people who clearly were well over the limit.. And on that note I shall go and mix myself a strong one… !

  • jojoandrada

    A 45 day liquor ban??? What’s the issue here? Is the MMDA afraid that filipinos will drink themselves to death during election time? HAHAHA ! bobo ….

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_two_cents

    Tolentino is an idiot. He thinks prayers on a street corner fixes road congestion, and now he wants a 45 day ban on alcohol. It’s moronic suggestions like this that makes people angry, not drink.

    • buttones

      It is inane ideas like this from people like Tolentino

      that actually turn people to the bottle….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EA7TIY7PYXEU5UOXG2K5CY5F64 Eric

    Is this problem real? Kailangan ba talaga ng liquor ban?
    Sa Pilipinas, walang bawal bawal! Iinom at magpapaputok pa rin ang mga ungas.

  • scorpio15

    Ang traffic yong ayosin ninyo. Hindi yong Liquor Ban.
    Ni hindi mo makita ang mga anino ng mga MMDA sa da-an kaya ang mga Garapal na mga BUS akupado lahat na lane. Pagmagpatakbo akala mo ay ma-uubusan ng Da-an.

  • milespacker

    Can’t we have clean and honest elections without Tolentino’s try-hard, second rate ideas?

  • anthony_decastro

    I wish the good chairman will realize to let the officials implementing the law to impose the law and apprehend the offenders. a well implemented law will go further than expanding laws without really imposing them properly and without bias for name, rank, position and other titles.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHTWUXKL5GQ66NGG73Z6EIMYZI june

    this mmda chairman really never run out of stupid ideas like the portable rotondas to this latest liquor ban propoosal (which is not the within the mandate of mmda).  please stop acting like a politician who craves for media exposure for even the most insignifcant/harebrained activities.   hey, mr. tolentino, why did u close the u-turn slot a panay-edsa (near quezon avenue) which compelled motorist to drive all d way to timog -edsa just to go the direction of quezon circle-faiview.  if u will only use a little common sense, the simple solution is to open the intersection of edsa-quezon avenue and let the traffic lights do it thing, idiot

  • pedronimo

    In the first place Tolentino by education is a lawyer, not a sociologist. No wonder he has utopian ideas like banning cigarettes and this 45-day ban on alcoholic drinks. I do not drink but I doubt if such a noble idea could be enforced on Pinoys whose day wouldn’t be complete unless they drink GINEBRA, RAIN OR SHINE, and TALK & TEXT his whole life through,

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPV7TOHIJPG3UMTLQDTHLQJR7Y Jack

    “In Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, the campaign is through drinking … It is a reality that during elections, campaigners provide the voters liquor. The [proposed extension of the] liquor ban is related to MMDA’s mandate, to our efforts to reduce fatal accidents.”
    kasali na po ba ang nueva ecija, batangas at laguna sa metro manila? nagtatanong lang po mr. tolentino

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPV7TOHIJPG3UMTLQDTHLQJR7Y Jack

    bakit naman itong picture ni chairman na nilagay ng pdi ay rosy cheeks siya. parang naka-tatlong shot ng alak siya sa pic niya at contradictory sa kanyang panukala na “45-day liquor ban”

  • LeoSanMig

    Francis Tolentino, with Nancy Binay, Jackie ‘Anido’ Enrile, JV Ejercito, Migz Zubiri and Gringo Honasan getting high ratings on recent surveys, don’t you wanna get drunk?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WTIRTIXLBR5X47RMVKB3T43SWA charles

      Nancy Binay, Jack Enrile, JV Ejercito, Ernie Maceda, Sonny Angara, Gringo and the others make me puke..even if i haven’t drunk anything…

    • WeAry_Bat

      Advertising.  If lots of people only knew plenty of their past…

      • LeoSanMig

        ano kamo?

      • WeAry_Bat

         Effect of TV ads.

      • LeoSanMig

        true.

  • buttones

    Does anybody know of another democratic country in the world where they also resort to the desperate measure of banning alcohol? I’ve lived in a few countries but have never come across this sort of thing before. Anybody know of another?
    If the banning of alcohol results in the electing of most officials we have today, then the ban clearly does not work anyway, and the electorate is still operating with a befuddled mind.. Sober or not…..
    Personally speaking, enjoying the odd glass or two, my consumption during the election period does increase dramatically, particularly when the results are coming in, oblivion seems a better choice….

    • http://twitter.com/lattuaztar Rogelio Guillermo

      It’d be nice to have a bottle of San Miguel to go with a P500 for the vote, wouldn’t you think so? Well, now I’m not one to say if thats truly democratic or not. But that would sure make the signatures credible enough for the POS machines. On a more serious note, you may want to take a look into some states of the US ban on alcohol during elections.

      • buttones

        Thank you for that information on the States- On your other interesting thesis about the ‘possibility’ of some voter being swayed by a bottle of ice cold San Mig labeled with a 500 peso note to vote ‘the right way’- the ‘straight way’, then shame on you! You are very, very naughty to imagine such a thing would happen, next thing you will theorizing that block votes can be gained by handing out small pigs with bamboo poles up their bottom! Tsk tsk tsk…..

      • ARIKUTIK

        Election day is holiday, 99.69 % of Filipino men in group of friends are enjoying workless day by singing along karaoke with bottle of wine as singing skill enhancement. It was the tradition since election was invented. None was arrested simply because there’s not enough jail to welcome them all. Tolentino of MMDA is the one with out intelligence on his head. A dumb creature beyond reasonable doubt.

    • http://twitter.com/floydrelax Floyd

      Australian Capital Territory, Australia, alcohol sales prohibited 1910-1928.
      Haryana, India, alcohol sales prohibited 1996-1998.
      United States, alcohol illegal from 1919-1933.
      Canada 1901-1924
      Faroe Islands 1907-1992
      Iceland 1915-1935, beer with an alcohol content of 2.25% or more remained prohibited until 1989.
      Norway 1916-1927
      Finland 1919-1932

      • buttones

        Thank you for that information- am I right in assuming that the countries mentioned do not now have this ban? And if it is the case, why? I think you are speaking of a general prohibition, not exactly related to a few days during an election. My question as to why, doesn’t need to be answered, so many reasons why prohibition of most things don’t work……

      • ARIKUTIK

        As to why wine should not be banned, election or anytime IS > How can a husband be able to Bed love his wife when she’s now in elephant size nighties. A sip in glass full of wine will toxic paint every woman into an object of bed rocking desire. Tolentino talks about intelligent discussion but even his blood is alchohol free his brain still lack any intelligence at all. Ban dumbs from MMDA, Kick out brainless Tolentino.

      • pinoy63

        yeah right arikutik

  • im_not_convinced

    If the 45 day ban is approved, the mmda officers will have a hay day extorting money from the people who couldn’t go that long without a having a drink.

  • frudo

    i ban nyo yung nag da drive ng lasheng!!! yung ang i ban nyo kahit habang buhay ok lang ng maiwasan ang napakadaming aksidente  sa Pinas

  • Vincent Puig

    Stupid idea.

  • Vincent Puig

    Moron

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    I´m not an alcohol drinker but i´m AGAINST this “45 Days Banning of Alcohol” WHY? 45 days was almost a half of 90 days half of a period upon which we are computing our economic gain and lost! (90 Days= A Quarter!) Mabigat na lost yan sa Economy! Meron na nga tayong sinasabing “sin tax” tapos ban pa?
    Kelan ba talaga ang sinasabing “Election proper”,yung mismong date? Let me say,5 days before and after the election will be enough.Kung gusto ng MMDA eh i will approve a “ZERO TOLERANCE OVERSPEEDING AND ALCOHOL LEVEL” This might be related to MMDA it´s functions. (ex: Kapag ang speed limit eh 80Km/h eh dapat huwag LUMAMPAS sa 80!) At kung nakainom naman eh BAWAL MAGMANEHO! Ganun lang yun! Ang mahuhuli eh samsam ang lisensiya! (With the exemption of Ambulance,Law Enforcer Vehicle and Fire Brigade).Another is by putting our country in “Alert Level 3″ during election proper.Put more checkpoints for checking alcohol level.NLEX and SLEX,including C5 and other widened road that are prone for accident should LIMIT THEIR SPEED ONLY UP TO 80km/hr to prevent increase in vehicular accident.

  • dt

    ganun ba kadami umiinom sa pilipinas na maapektuhan ang resulta ng eleksyon ng dahil sa alak?

  • ApoNiLolo

    “intelligent discussion” of political issues? This made me guffaw! >: D
    How many percentage of our electorates really cast their ballots “intelligently”?

    A stupid suggestion not to mention out of touch with reality. But I’m not surprise. Most of these “political appointees” are. >: D

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WTIRTIXLBR5X47RMVKB3T43SWA charles

    what intelligent discussion?..when all we have are stupid, corrupt  choices for these government posts?…try arresting all beer and whisky drinkers in the country, and see if they fit in your jails…!!!!

  • pangitbudhiko

    itong Francis Tolentino kailangan dito sa damuhong ito ay kargahan ng alcohol sa utak

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z6R2QAY7UWNJMTCRTED3JZXPIA Joey

    ano naman ang kinalaman ng alcohol consumption sa election sa metro manila? bakit mmda lang ang humihingi nito eh di naman uso ang pamimigay ng alak sa NCR pag election. siguro sa probinsya pa. drunk-driving ang gusto niyong lutasin, pati election idadamay niyo. isang malaking katangahan!

  • Fergus Ducharme

    What a silly idea. Yes, I agree to ban liquor sales for the day before and the day of the election – but 45 days is completely ridiculous almost as if we were being condemned to return to the days of prohibition in the 1920’s…SILLY!

  • SignTheWaiverNow

    Malamang naka inom si Chairnman nung nainterview ng PDI….

    Ha Ha Ha

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