Comelec exec admits: Poll rules difficult to enforce

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A Commission on Elections official admitted that the poll body cannot fully implement laws governing the conduct of the 2013 elections. That’s why voters need to be educated on what the laws say.

Comelec Regional Director Temie Lambino said that lack of manpower makes it difficult for them to implement all election laws and rules.

Implementing Comelec Resolution 9616 is a real challenge, Lambino admits.

According to Luie Tito Guia, executive director, Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), voters should be aware of how much politicians spend during their campaign.

“Politicians on the other hand should be transparent with the funding,” Guia said.

Under Republic Act 7166, the expenditure limit for president and vice president candidates is P10 per registered voter; P5 per registered voter for other candidates without any political party or without support from any political party; P3 per registered voter for other candidates supported by political party; and P5 per registered voter for political parties.

In Central Visayas, there are 1,420 elected positions and more than 3,000 candidates who are running for those position.

The Comelec in Central Visayas has 299 election officers and assistants.

The region has the fourth highest number of votes in the country with 4,114,047 registered voters.

But Cebu which has 2,509,520 registered voters has the highest number of registered voters outside Metro Manila.

Among the laws that the Comelec has not strictly implemented is the campaign spending cap.

The law requires candidates to submit a Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOECE) after the election.

If a candidate fails to submit his or her SOECE, there’s a fine depending on the position they are in.

Lambino made these statements during a dialogue with Visayas-based journalists participating in the election reporting training sponsored by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism here in Cebu from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1.

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