Quantcast
Latest Stories

Serving ‘lechon, pancit’ could be vote-buying

By

The way to a man’s—or woman’s—heart may be through the stomach but candidates should be forewarned that serving the voting public food and drink on the eve of Election Day may well be construed as vote-buying.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday said giving away food such as the pork dish lechon or the feast day staple pancit to voters on the eve of the elections is something that could fall under vote-buying.

The Comelec said it was mulling over coming out with a measure that will reduce, if not totally eradicate, the practice of vote-buying among candidates during the May elections.

But Brillantes said the election body will keep it under wraps and will roll it out not more than 10 days before Election Day to avoid preempting their plan.

Secret plan

“This will serve as a warning on vote-buying,” Brillantes told reporters in an interview yesterday.

“My colleagues in the Comelec and I are planning something… we are studying constitutional issues on the matter. But if it pushes through, we won’t have a problem anymore with vote-buying,” he said.

Brillantes said it was possible that the en banc would issue a resolution on the matter, which would take effect a week or so before May 13, the country’s second automated elections.

“If I reveal what it is now, our plan will be futile. Because vote-buying is really being used a few days before the elections, usually two days or on the eve of the balloting,” he said.

Propaganda gadgets

The Comelec chief also reminded candidates that while “electoral propaganda gadgets” such as lighters, fans, pens, mugs, candies and umbrellas can be distributed during their campaign, giving away “something of value” can be considered vote-buying.

He defined vote-buying as giving away money or anything valuable for the purpose of getting a vote.

Giving away lighters, cigarettes, umbrellas and shirts are already allowed for campaign purposes after Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Elections Act repealed a provision in the Omnibus Election Code declaring as unlawful the “purchase, manufacture, request, distribution or acceptance” of electoral propaganda gadgets, Brillantes noted.

The Omnibus Election Code identified propaganda gadgets as pens, lighters, fans, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hands, bandanas, matches and cigarettes.

“These materials are no longer prohibited in the course of the campaign as long as they are freely given as campaign materials and they will reflect as part of the candidates’ expenses,” said Brillantes.

“But if you use that close to the elections, we can classify it as vote-buying,” he said.

He said it has been difficult for the Comelec to go after candidates engaging in vote-buying. “That’s why up to now, no one has been jailed for it… but I will send someone soon, as long as there is evidence,” he said.

Fair play

Brillantes said all are bound by the rules of fair play when it comes to campaign regulations.

The Comelec chief made this statement as he took offense over insinuations of a party-list group that the election body was turning a blind eye on violations of campaign rules and regulations supposedly by candidates close to President Aquino.

Calling the Kabataan party-list’s remarks “uncalled for,” he urged the group to shut up and start complying with the poll body’s “common poster area” rule by removing its illegal posters scattered across Metro Manila.

“With all due respect to Mr. Terry Ridon of the Kabataan party-list, Comelec will never be selective in implementing our campaign rules,” said Brillantes on his Twitter account.

The Comelec chief said in an interview on Friday that it was better for the group to just follow the law and stop jumping to conclusions.

He also encouraged the group to provide the election body evidence on their allegations so that it could act on it. “If they will just be all noise, we can’t do anything about their complaint,” said Brillantes.

During a surprise inspection on Wednesday, the Comelec spotted posters of the group illegally plastered along plant boxes on Taft Avenue in Manila and inside Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Posters belonging to party-list groups Buhay, AkapBata and Gabriela were also seen in prohibited areas. Banners bearing the face of Team PNoy’s senatorial candidate Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara were also seen hanging from electric posts on Quirino Highway.

 

Intensified drive

In a statement, Kabataan party-list said it has already called on its volunteers and supporters to adhere to the Comelec rules. Efforts to remove illegally placed posters have also started, according to Ridon.

“For their part, Comelec should also intensify the information drive regarding designated campaign posting areas,” said Ridon.

“We ask Comelec not to go after small fish while turning a blind eye [over] violations made by those with big names and those close to the President. Their effort to regulate campaigning will be useless if it exempts allies of the President and big families from the rules,” he added.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez also reiterated yesterday that under Comelec Resolution No. 9615, candidates are allowed to put up their posters in designated common poster areas “but at their own expense.”

“They will have to spend for the structure where they can mount their posters,” said Jimenez.

Warning to poll execs

According to the resolution, parties and candidates may put up common poster areas in every barangay. “One common poster area is allowed in a barangay with 5,000 registered voters or less. An additional designated area will be allowed for every increment of 5,000 voters,” said Jimenez.

He also warned that the Comelec will go after erring election officers who fail to inform candidates and voters of the location of designated common poster areas in their respective areas.

“While the list of common poster areas are placed outside local Comelec offices, election officers should make an effort to ensure that [these] are known to the candidates and the public… failure to do so shall make him liable for gross neglect of duty,” added Jimenez.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 elections , Comelec , Election Day , Lechon , pancit , Philippine elections , Sixto Brillantes Jr. , vote-buying




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement