Of pancit and iPads: Mitos says Jamby violated rules
MANILA - Senatorial candidate Mitos Magsaysay on Thursday said Team PNoy senatorial bet Jamby Madrigal made a clear violation of election campaign rules when she sponsored a contest to give away a free iPad in exchange for Facebook likes.
"I think there was a violation there because Comelec was very clear that you are not supposed to give things away especially if it is expensive. Pancit nga is considered electioneering," she told ANC's Headstart.
Magsaysay, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance ticket, said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. had given several warnings against expensive giveaways during the campaign.
She said the Madrigal case would show if the Comelec will act on its previous warning.
"This is when you will see whether there is daang matuwid under this administration," she said.
Brillantes earlier urged Madrigal to stop the iPad raffle since it could be seen as violating Section 97 of the Omnibus Election Code.
A portion of Section 97 reads: "It shall be unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day."
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said Madrigal may still be held liable for a campaign rule violation despite her apology over an online contest.
Jimenez said the poll body is still studying if the former senator violated a provision in the Omnibus Election Code when her Facebook page offered an iPad as a prize for engagement online.
"One of the reasons why we are monitoring all their activities is to ensure no one violates the rules," he told ANC Thursday.
Jimenez said other candidates were also found to have similar promos but quickly pulled them out.
"What the other candidates did was as soon as the word came out that we were looking at that particular ad, what they did was quietly take down all their other campaigns," he said.
Madrigal on Wednesday owned up to sponsoring an iPad raffle contest in her Facebook and Twitter pages and apologized to Comelec for any possible election offense.
“My Facebook, which is linked to my tweeter (sic) page is run by young volunteers and avid fans of my anti corruption advocacy. In their zeal to promote clean governance they saw nothing wrong with promoting the advocacy for anti corruption,” she said in a statement.
“I extend my apologies to the Comelec for what my youth volunteers may have done which the Comelec may perceive to be a violation of election rules,” she added.
Madrigal said she immediately asked her volunteers to “remove the site” after Comelec cited the alleged violation. She said she gave strict instructions to the volunteers to be very vigilant in observing election rules and laws.
“I would like to assure everyone that this incident will not happen again,” she said.