Gatchalian wants immediate enactment of anti-nuisance candidates bill

Gatchalian wants immediate enactment of anti-nuisance candidates bill

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian enjoins colleagues to consider the
enactment of his bill seeking to institutionalize the grounds for
declaration of nuisance political candidates and imposition of a fine
for putting the election process in mockery or disrepute.

Gatchalian said that while the 1987 Constitution guarantees equal
access to opportunities for public service, the Supreme Court
resolution has clarified the view that running for public office is a
privilege and not a right.

“Isang pribilehiyo ang makapaglingkod sa bayan kaya’t dapat na
siniseryoso ito ng sinuman na gustong magserbisyo sa publiko dahil
kaakibat nito ang pagsusulong sa kapakanan ng taong bayan at
pag-iingat sa kaban ng bayan. Hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap ang
mga gawain na ang intensyon ay halata namang makapanlito lamang o
gawing katawa-tawa ang eleksyon,” he said.

Among those who trooped to the Pasay City venue setup by the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for the filing of certificate of
candidacy (COC) were presidential aspirants Daniel Magtira who claims
to be the “husband” of Kris Aquino and was previously declared by the
poll body as a nuisance candidate and Laurencio Jun Yulaga, a
self-proclaimed “international scientist” who claims to be a Harvard
graduate and said that electrocution can cure COVID-19. His running
mate, Alexander Lague, said he owns an oil company and wants collected
urine converted into perfume and fertilizer if he wins as vice
president.

While candidates who will eventually be declared as “nuisance” by the
COMELEC may have achieved their objectives of gaining 15 minutes of
fame, they, however, should be held liable for their act, the senator
said.

In Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 726 or an Act Amending Sections 69,
261 (CC) and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, he
proposed the imposition of a fine of P50,000 to any person who was
found by the COMELEC to have put the election process in mockery or
disrepute.

Although the COMELEC is mandated by law to receive certificates of
candidacies, Gatchalian said that accommodating a greater number of
candidates entails an increased allocation of time and resources.

A counterpart measure in the House of Representatives proposing
heavier fines against nuisance candidates had been already approved on
final reading last August. (ai/mtvn)

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