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.
“Hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap ang mga gawain na ang intensyon ay halata namang makapanlito lamang o gawing katawa-tawa ang eleksyon.”
“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,” the veteran legislator 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.”
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 seasoned lawmaker 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, the senator 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.