Comelec: More to be disqualified due to overspending

Posted at 07/13/14 6:49 PM

Brillantes wants to leave a legacy in Comelec

MANILA -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes warned that Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito will not be the last to face the axe due to election overspending.

In an interview with radio dzMM on Saturday, Brillantes said the Comelec will announce in the next two weeks around “1,000 or 2,000” candidates who may face administrative or criminal sanctions for violating poll rules.

He said these are the candidates who failed to file their Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), made wrong entries or overspent just like Ejercito.

Some of these offenses provide that the candidate will no longer be allowed to run if he or she gets the third strike.

In Ejercito’s case, there was also a pending disqualification case filed against him after his political rival, Edgardo San Luis, asked that he be removed from his post.

Election laws provide that the spending cap for local candidates is at P3 per registered voter.

New Comelec office

Brillantes said running after violators of poll laws is the legacy he would want to leave when he retires in February next year.

“What I am doing now is creating a new trend. We want to run after those who overspent, buying votes,” he said, noting that the commissions before him have not prosecuted a single person for overspending.

“We want to show that we are not joking. We want to send a message to those who want to run in 2016,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Brillantes said he also wants a new office for the commission, noting that “we’re the only government agency without an office.”

He reported that the Comelec has already purchased a lot at a reclamation area near the Mall of Asia.

“I don’t think I will be able to see it completed, but all I want is to see the land already being shoveled – that our names can be included at least in the capsule that will be buried there,” he said.

The Comelec is currently located at Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros.

Brillantes also identified the “internal reorganization” of the Comelec as one of his legacies. “At least partially, we may be able to do that,” he said.