Calling the two-day liquor ban too short, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino on Sunday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the ban to five or 10 days at least.
In a radio interview, Tolentino said the poll body has the power to prohibit the sale and drinking of alcoholic drinks beyond the two-day period prescribed in the Omnibus Election Code—on the eve of the elections and on Election Day itself.
Earlier, the MMDA asked Comelec to impose a 45-day liquor ban to help reduce the number of drunk-driving accidents and drinking-related violence. The proposal, however, was turned down by Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. who said the suggested period was too long and would have a negative effect on the business of some establishments. But he added that he was open to a five to seven-day liquor ban.
Tolentino said that they respected the decision of Brillantes but expressed hope that he would be amenable to a 5 to 10-day ban.
Meanwhile, he reiterated that some politicians, especially in the provinces commonly use alcohol to engage in a form of “vote buying.”
“Most of the free liquor will be coming from politicians,” he said.