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P100,000-fine for nuisance candidates proposed

Republika

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) recently proposed to fine nuisance candidates P100,000.

The poll body’s law department director, Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal told the Senate committee on electoral reforms that in addition to the fine, the nuisance candidate would also be prohibited from the next two national and local elections. She added that they will be banned from substitute for two successive elections for any position.


Sen. Imee Marcos, who chairs the committee, said that a bill was filed in the House of Representatives as a verified petition to declare a registered candidate as a nuisance.


“So the Comelec will issue summons within three days and the respondents will file a motion to dismiss. This will be fast. The proceedings should be summary to make sure and the hearing officer will submit findings and so on,” she said.


However, she reminded the Comelec that “the high court has constantly reminded us to be cautious not to be arbitrary and oppressive in determining nuisance candidates.”


Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Tolentino said that the Comelec’s deadline for substitution (Nov. 15) should be “the reckoning point because there is still substitution. Second, who will determine ‘nuisance qualifications.’ Is it because of your lack of financial resources? Is it because you have participated in several past electoral exercises?”


In response, Casingal said that they are guided by Omnibus Election Code section 69 that states it is “when the certificate of candidacy has been filed to put the election process in mockery or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of names of the aspirants and of course… which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for public office.”

Photo: Rappler


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