The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to extend by three days the duration of the election liquor ban, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Wednesday.
He said the Comelec en banc had voted by a majority vote of 4 to 1 to extend the liquor ban from just two days to five days—from May 9 to May 13, or Election Day.
“(Before), the liquor ban was effective only the day before and on Election Day,” Brillantes noted.
He said the Metro Manila Development Authority had even proposed that a 60-day liquor ban be imposed. However, he said the MMDA’s proposed ban would be too long and would likely invite an adverse reaction from liquor manufacturers.
“We feel that a five-day period is better because … the heat of the campaign will be on the last five days,” Brillantes said.
Brillantes said the lone dissenter was Commissioner Christian Robert Lim who argued that the law had specified a ban on the day before and on Election Day.
However, Brillantes said the law did not say “only,” which means the en banc “can really expand it but not to (an) unreasonable period because it will affect business.”
“If you apply the liquor ban within the last five days, that will lessen the tension because many people drink, especially on the Saturday before the elections,” he added.
The Comelec chairman also said that the problem of the source code of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines might be resolved this week.