5 bets in 2010 polls face raps for overspending
MANILA, Philippines–Five more candidates in the 2010 elections are facing charges for allegations of election campaign overspending.
The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) campaign finance unit (CFU) has filed criminal charges before the poll body’s law department against congressional candidates Florencio Narido (Camiguin) and Benasing Macarambon Jr. (Lanao del Sur 2nd District); and provincial board member candidates Rogelio Delapa (Batanes 2nd District), Periolo Banaag (Camiguin 2nd District) and Pedro Horcajo (Batanes 1st District).
The complaint showed that the candidates were found by the CFU to have violated provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on campaign spending.
Section 100 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that no candidate shall spend for his election campaign more than the amount set by the law.
The findings in the complaint were based on the CFU’s assessment of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) of the candidates filed with the Comelec.
Based on Section 13 of Republic Act No. 7166, each candidate can spend P3 for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy.
An election offense carries the penalty of imprisonment of one to six years, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.
The cases will now be subjected by the Comelec law department to preliminary investigations before making a recommendation to the Comelec en banc, which will then decide whether or not it will file charges before the regional trial courts.
Earlier, the Comelec also named Sen. JV Ejercito as among the nominees facing election charges for alleged campaign overspending.
The Comelec said Ejercito exceeded his expenditure limit by P167,429 during the campaign period when he ran for representative of San Juan City in 2010.
In his SOCE, Ejercito declared his expenditures in the total amount of P438,512.
“Respondent exceeded the expenditure limit of P271,083 for a candidate for the position of representative of San Juan City lone district by P167,429 or 61.76 percent,” the poll body’s campaign finance unit said in its complaint filed before the Comelec law department.