Madrigal still up for Comelec probe on alleged Facebook contest
MANILA, Philippines—Senatorial candidate Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal could still face the consequences for holding a contest over social media with an iPad as a prize even though she has stopped it.
“Even though she has removed it, it was already started,” Brillantes told reporters Wednesday.
“If we find there is a violation, we will continue the case, disqualification and possible criminal election offense,” he said.
Madrigal was found to have held a contest in Facebook with a post on February 14 detailing the mechanics. Netizens were asked to complete the sentence “corruption is bad because…” and the best answer would win an iPad.
The post indicated that the contest would end on March 12 and the winner will be announced on March 15.
“I think no prize has been given yet so the act has not yet been consummated. But we are not yet done checking, we are still verifying if there is a case to file,” Brillantes said.
Director James Jimenez of the Education and Information Department of the Comelec said in a forum of the Internet and Mobile Marketers Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) early Wednesday that though Madrigal’s contest was not violating any Comelec rules and regulation, it might be a violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
Jimenez said that under Section 97, the contest or game Madrigal was holding was prohibited.
“Sec. 97. Prohibited raising of funds.—It shall be unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day;” according to the Omnibus Election Code.
Madrigal has issued a statement late Wednesday saying that the contest was done by her volunteers and the she apologized Comelec perceived it as a campaign violation.