Madrigal, lawyer pass buck over ‘iPad giveaway’ to campaign volunteers | Inquirer News

Madrigal, lawyer pass buck over ‘iPad giveaway’ to campaign volunteers

By: - Reporter / @KatyYam
/ 07:10 PM February 20, 2013

Screenshot of the ‘iPad contest’ of Jamby Madrigal on Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The lawyer of former Senator Jamby Madrigal claimed on Wednesday that campaign “volunteers” were apparently behind the offer of an iPad in an online contest she had on Facebook.

However, lawyer Ernesto Francisco could not explain how campaign volunteers, whom he described as “mga kabataan” (young people), could afford and give away this flat electronic contraption about the size of a regular bond paper.


An informal check showed that a brand new iPad could fetch between P20,000 and P30,000 in the market depending on the capacity of its memory.


Campaign volunteers, on the other hand, are not expected to receive monetary compensation from a candidate for their work.

It was late Tuesday when the announcement about the prize in Madrigal’s Facebook page was taken down after Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes hinted at the possible disqualification of “an administration (Team PNoy) candidate” for illegal campaigning.

Madrigal is running under the administration’s Team PNoy coalition.  She has presented an anti-corruption focus.  Her first stint as senator ran from 2004 to 2010.

In her Facebook account, Madrigal wanted her 450 followers to “speak their mind” about corruption.  The one who could give the best answer would have won the iPad.

Earlier reports quoted Brillantes as saying that giving away a prize like that could cause the disqualification of the candidate whom he did not name.

It was a check Comelec reporters made on Facebook that showed Madrigal as the one offering the iPad.


After the announcement about the contest was taken down, Madrigal posted a message that said: “What good-meaning friends or hate-filled enemies post on my wall is something I cannot totally control.  Please understand.”

There was no mention or acknowledgment of the volunteers suspected of making the iPad offer.

In a news conference held by the Liberal Party Wednesday, Madrigal’s lawyer said initial investigation showed that the young volunteers are the ones who are “running” Madrigal’s social media exposure.

“Sen. Jamby was not aware of the (contest) but when her attention was called, she immediately instructed her campaign team to have (the announcement) removed,” “We make it clear Sen. Jamby has no intention of violating the law…At this point, we still cannot say that a violation of any election law was committed.  But in case there was, she apologizes to the Comelec for what her volunteers must have done.  Such incident would not be repeated,” Francisco told reporters.

The lawyer said Madrigal’s team could not yet ascertain from where the iPad would have been obtained.  “We’re still in the process of investigating…if there really is an (kung talaga bang may) iPad. Those who are in charge of (Madrigal’s) social media, maybe they were the ones who thought of this (sila ang nakaisip nito),” he added.

Spokespersons of the Liberal Party immediately came to Madrigal’s defense.

Reps. Erin Tañada and Romero Quimbo took turns in pointing at “gray areas” in the country’s election laws when it came to political campaigns in social media.

Tañada pointed out that the Omnibus Election Code, for example, was crafted and signed at a time when the Internet was not yet part of public awareness.

Quimbo, on the other hand, noted that current rules on campaigning presented “no jurisprudence, no definite rulings (and have) no specific incidents” related to social media.

“It is untrammeled terrain,” he stressed.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Tañada said the incoming 16th Congress could address this issue since the new batch of lawmakers would be able to scrutinize and tweak the election laws to respond to social media complications.

TAGS: Elections, News, vote-buying

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.