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Revive ban on premature campaigning and other election offenses

A veteran lawmaker has moved to reinstate the prohibition against premature


campaigning and revive election offenses committed prior to the start of the campaign
period.
Rep. Joaquin M. Chipeco Jr. !"
nd
#istrict $aguna% is urging the passage of &'
()*+ which prohibits electoral campaign or partisan political activities e,cept during the
campaign period and providing a penalt- therefor.
.nder the present state of our laws there is no longer an- prohibition against
premature campaigning Chipeco pointed out.
/he $aguna lawmaker recalled that premature campaigning has alread- been
decriminali0ed in the "**1 case of Penera v. Comelec, et al, (G. R. No. 181613, Nov. 25,
2009, En Banc).
'ased on the 2enera case Chipeco e,plained that the rule now is that two !"% facts
must concur in order for a person or aspiring candidate to be liable to an election offense3
first he must have filed his certificate of candidac-4 and second the campaign period has
commenced.
/his means that a candidate in our !automated% elections could campaign much
earlier than the start of the campaign period and not incur an- criminal liabilit- for
premature campaigning under our election laws Chipeco e,plained.
/he legal conundrum arising from such a 5urisprudential rule is patentl- manifest 6
it effectivel- decriminali0es not 5ust premature campaigning but an- and all election
offenses committed prior to the campaign period as well the author lamented.
7hether the ma5orit- of the Court reali0es this grave implication from its ruling it
merel- washes its hands b- convenientl- stating that the forum for e,amining the
wisdom of the law and enacting remedial measures is not this Court but the $egislature
Chipeco pointed out.
8nterestingl- enough he noted the minorit- opinion chimed in b- stating in part
that , , , this dissenting opinion will not be viewed as an effort made in vain if in the
future the said resolution can be revisited and somehow rectified.
NR # 3471B
MAY 19, 2014
7hether the fault lies in the flawed phraseolog- of the law on automated elections
!as the ma5orit- seems to impl-% or the infirm legal reasoning or interpretation of the
ponenca !as the minorit- suggested% Chipeco said that one thing clearl- stands out 6
there is an urgent need for remedial legislation in this particular area of our election law.
9ection ) of &' ()*+ states3 Pro!"ton a#an$t premat%re campa#nn# 6 8t shall
be unlawful for an- person whether or not a voter or candidate or for an- part- or
association of persons to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activit-
e,cept during the campaign period3 Provided, that the person or aspiring candidate in
whose favour the premature campaigning was done eventually files his/her certificate
of candidacy; and provided further, that the prohibition against premature
campaigning shall apply in all kinds of election, whether done manually, automated,
or otherwise. !.nderscoring provided b- writer%
9ection ) further states3 :othing in this Act shall prohibit parties or association of
persons from holding conventions or meetings to nominate their official candidates within
thirt- da-s before the commencement of the campaign period and fort-;five da-s for
2residential and <ice;2residential election.
9ection " of the bill states3 An- other act designed to promote the election or
defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office committed prior to the
campaign period including but not necessaril- limited to vote;bu-ing and vote;selling is
likewise declared an election offense.
9ection = states3 2enalt-. 6 An- person guilt- of an election offense under this Act
shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one -ear but not more than si, -ears
and shall not be sub5ect to probation. 8n addition the guilt- part- shall be sentenced to
suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. 8f he
is a foreigner he shall be sub5ect to deportation which shall be enforced after the prison
term has been served. An- political part- found guilt- shall be sentenced to pa- a fine of
not less than one hundred thousand pesos !previousl- 2)****% which shall be imposed
upon such part- after criminal action has been instituted in which their corresponding
officials have been found guilt-. !=*% dpt