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MANILA, Philippines – Give away iPads, face disqualification?
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes Jr on Tuesday, February 19, said it may disqualify an administration candidate after she reportedly engaged in illegal campaigning. Brillantes refused to name the senatorial bet, but gave several clues on the prohibited game she hosted on Facebook and Twitter.
An independent check on Twitter pointed to senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal.
“Naglalabas siya sa kanyang Twitter at Facebook na merong konting laro na magbibigay siya ng premyo na iPad,” Brillantes said in an interview with reporters Tuesday. (She said on her Twitter and Facebook accounts that she has a game with an iPad as the prize.)
An Aquino appointee and also the President's former lawyer, Brillantes said the Comelec is mulling the specific charge against the candidate. (Watch more in the video below.)
But if she takes down the illegal online campaign materials, Brillantes said the Comelec may not push through with the charges after all. “Kasi hindi pa naman siya namimigay ng premyo so far,” he explained. (Because she still hasn't given out prizes so far.)
Rappler searched Twitter, and identified an administration candidate hosting a game with an iPad as the grand prize. "Speak your mind about corruption and win an iPad," senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal (@TheRealJamby) said in a tweet dated February 15.
The post got at least 22 retweets – and 6 replies pointing out the supposed election offense.
Speak your mind out about corruption and win an iPad facebook.com/photo.php?fbid…— Jamby Madrigal (@TheRealJamby) February 15, 2013
Rappler is still trying to reach Madrigal and her staff for comment as of posting time.
The Omnibus Election Code, under Section 97, says it is unlawful "for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances... for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day."
The law also says it is unlawful "for any person or organization, whether civic or religious, directly or indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any candidate for public office, or from his campaign manager, agent or representative, or any person acting in their behalf, any gift, food, transportation, contribution or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day."
Over the weekend, a related case ensued involving Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, who was arrested for holding a bingo game. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who is running against former President Joseph Estrada, Moreno's running mate, insisted that the vice mayor violated the law.
Brillantes on Monday, February 18, however said Moreno didn't violate campaign rules because the local campaign period hasn't begun. – Rappler.com
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