Poll worker charged with electioneering over ballpen
MANILA, Philippines — An election watcher has been charged with unlawful electioneering for allegedly showing an elderly voter a ballpen bearing a candidate’s name during the barangay (village) elections in 2010.
The charge against Mike Jester Caladiao was filed at the Manila Regional Trial Court last week.
Caladiao was an election watcher for Ma. Elisa Donado-Asilo, the winning candidate for chairman of Barangay 91 Zone 8 District 1 Tondo, during the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Oct. 25, 2010.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed with the Commission on Elections by Manuel Bautista, a poll watcher for candidate Romeo Iral.
According to the complainant, he saw Caladiao helping an elderly woman find her voter’s number. Afterward, Caladiao showed her a ballpen with the name Marie Asilo printed on it.
Caladiao denied the charge during the preliminary investigation, saying that he had simply helped the elderly voter.
Records of the case showed that the Comelec en banc found probable cause that respondent was soliciting votes within the polling place in favor of Asilo.
The allegation and the respondent’s defense should be threshed out in a full-blown trial to determine which is more credible, it said.
Bail of P12,000 was recommended.