By Ferdinand G. Patinio
MANILA, July 7 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Tuesday it is set to file overspending cases against 36 local candidates who participated in the 2010 and 2013 polls.
In a press conference, Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said the Law Department will be filing cases against these candidates, including five politicians who ran for congressional positions for violation of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
“During the en banc hearing today, the en banc approved the filing of information against more than 35 individuals who overspent during the previous elections. In terms of the candidates, they come from a wide spectrum of different political parties,” he said.
The candidates who ran for congressional seats in 2010 polls were: Narzal B. Mallares, Lone District, Antique;Lydia Soriano Depra Ramos, 2nd District, Cagayan;Florencio Aranas Narido Jr., Lone District, Camiguin;Leopoldo Castro Tomas, 2nd District, Nueva Ecija; andEduardo Kintana Veloso, 2nd District, Leyte.
On the other hand, the Comelec Law Department reported the top three candidates with the highest amounts of excess expenditures (in terms of percentage of excess) were: Ibrahim Mitoon Macadato, who ran for mayor in Butig, Lanao del Sur in the 2013 polls and had spent P361,600 (1459.70%) as against the allowed expenses at P23,184; Batan, Aklan mayoralty candidate Dante Tulio Reyes, who spent P325,000 (475.08%) in the 2010 elections while the allowed expenses is only P56,514; and Gima Gani Kallahal, who ran as member of the Sangguniang Bayan, 2nd District, Tubuiran, Basilan in the 2010 polls, for spending P150,000 (424.66%) as against the allowed expenses at P28,590.
Four cases were dismissed due to death of the respondents, namely: Domingo Rarugal Ontuca, Rumel Austria Ocan, Norodin Magidia Matalam, and Tony Abella Dupiano, who all participated in the 2010 local polls.
The other candidates who will be facing overspending cases are: Oliver Bradley Bag-ayan, Galao Gaano Lomioan, Romeo Pacquing Magaway, Diomedes Casimsiman Amaroto Sr., Alberto Rediang, Oliver Escamis Ranque, Bonifacio Romaraog Billones, Glenn Romeo M. Gontang, Maria Riza Pacon Ledesma, Mario Ballogan Buyaccan.
Also named respondents are: Rufo Tanqui-on Cabos, Proceso Poncio Balasbas, Abdul Said Utto Lumenda, Rogelio Castilar Delapa, Virginia Requillo Zacate, George Sistona Legaspi, Alex Manlapaz Manlapaz, Rey Estoque Yamaro, Junebell Oraiz Balandra, Abdalun Hadjibon Awilun, Michael Antonio Magsaysay Darell B. Dela Flor, Carlos de leon Valdez Jr., Felipe Fonte Ferriol, Gody H. Cardenas, Baltazar Visaya Sinajon, Jose A. Norella Jr., Aida Badialan De La Rosa.
Section 100 of the Omnibus Election Code states that no candidate shall overspend for his election campaign than the amount set by the law.
Based on Section 13 of Republic Act No. 7166 of 1991, every candidate for president and vice president is allowed to spend P10 for every vote nationwide. Other bets can spend P3 for every voter currently registered in the constituency, where he filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC). Their political parties may also spend P5 for them.
Independent candidates, or those without any political party and without support from any political party, may be allowed to spend P5 for every voter in the area they are running in.
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. (PNA)