Comelec files 35 disqualification cases against poll bets
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to file more disqualification (DQ) cases in the coming weeks against erring barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan candidates as the poll body started lodging the initial batch of complaints on Friday.
By filing the first 35 disqualification cases, Comelec wants to show that the poll body “is not taking things lightly when it comes to the implementation of election laws,” according to its spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco.He noted that Comelec expects even more violations during the 10-day campaign period from Oct. 19 to Oct. 28.
The erring candidates were running for various posts in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
According to Jose Nick Mendros, chief of Comelec’s Task Force Kontra Epal, these candidates were at risk of losing their poll bid to disqualification because they either campaigned on social media or put up posters with the positions they were running for.
Not only will they not be allowed to run in the Oct. 30 polls, they may also be charged with an election offense, which Laudiangco said is criminal in nature.
3,541 show-cause orders
“If we determine that there is probable cause … we’ll be filing at the RTC (regional trial court) … and they could face imprisonment for up to six years, forfeiture of right to suffrage and perpetual disqualification,” he noted.
As of Friday, Comelec had sent a total of 3,541 show-cause orders to candidates found violating the rules against premature campaigning. Of the number, 529 candidates have already sent a reply to the poll body.
In an advisory, Comelec reminded incumbent barangay officials running in the elections that they may be held liable if they use the barangay assemblies for campaigning or for any partisan political activities.
Barangay assemblies are prohibited outside the campaign period, it added. INQ