The suffrage committee of the House of Representatives will soon tackle a proposal making running for profit during elections a ground to classify a candidate as a nuisance bet.
House Bill 6252, which was referred to the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chaired by Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, also seeks to impose a fine of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) against nuisance candidates.
Castro is a member of the National Unity Party (NUP).
The measure aims to implement these new provisions in the Omnibus Election Code or Batas Pambansa 881 by proposing that Section 69 of the law, as amended, be read as follows (amendments in bold big letters):
"Section 69. - Nuisance Candidates. - The Commission may motu propio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, AFTER DUE NOTICE AND HEARING, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy, if it is shown that said certificate has been filed UNDER ANY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES:" 1) To put the election process in mockery or disrepute; (or) 2) To cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates; (or) 3) TO OBTAIN MONEY, PROFIT, OR ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION; OR 4) By ANY other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.
Aside from the penalties provided under Section 264 of BP Blg. 881, the bill also proposes to amend by insertion the following paragraph: "ANY PERSON FOUND GUILTY OF THE ELECTION OFFENSE ENUMERATED UNDER SECTION 261 (cc) (7) SHALL PAY A FINE OF FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS TO THE COMELEC."
The bill was filed by Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian. who pointed out that the entry of nuisance candidates in the electoral process means increased allocation of time and resources for the cash-strapped Commission on Elections.