Adoption of anti-nuisance candidates bill pushed

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MANILA – Senator Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian urges colleagues to consider enacting his bill, which intends to formalize the grounds for declaring political candidates as nuisances and imposing a fee for bringing the election process into disrepute.

While the 1987 Constitution gives equal access to opportunities for public service, Gatchalian claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision clarifies that candidacy for public office is a privilege, not a right.

“Isang pribilehiyo ang makapaglingkod sa bayan kaya’t dapat na siniseryoso ito ng sinuman na gustong magserbisyo sa publiko. (It is a privilege to serve the people so anyone who wants to serve the public should take it seriously),” he said in a news release on Monday.

“Hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap ang mga gawain na ang intensyon ay halata namang makapanlito lamang o gawing katawa-tawa ang eleksyon (The activities that are obviously intended to confuse or make the election ridiculous are not acceptable),” he added.

During the certificate of candidacy filing at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City from Oct. 1 to 8, presidential aspirant Daniel Magtira claimed to be Kris Aquino’s “husband” and had previously been declared a nuisance candidate by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Laurencio Jun Yulaga, a self-proclaimed “international scientist” who claims to be a Harvard graduate and stated that electrocution may cure Covid-19, has also filed for president. Alexander Lague, his running companion, said he owns an oil company and wants collected urine transformed into perfume and fertilizer if he is elected vice president.

According to Gatchalian, candidates who are eventually declared “nuisances” by the Comelec may have achieved their goal of 15 minutes of fame, but they should be held accountable for their actions.

Gatchalian proposed a fine of PHP50,000 for anyone found by the Comelec to have put the election process in jeopardy or disrepute in his Senate Bill 726 or an Act Amending Sections 69, 261 (CC), and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.

Despite the fact that the Comelec is required by law to receive certificates of candidacy, Gatchalian noted that accommodating a larger number of candidates demands more time and resources.

Last August, a related bill in the House of Representatives proposing higher fines for nuisance candidates was approved on final reading.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.