House approves stiffer penalties for election offenses

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MANILA -- The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a proposed legislation that would impose heavier penalties for those involved in election-related offenses.

The measure increased jail time for individuals found guilty of committing election offenses from one year to six years but not more than 12 years. The fine was also increased from P10,000 to P500,000.

In addition, the guilty party shall also be sentenced to suffer perpetual disqualification to hold public office and will be deprived of the right of suffrage.

The proposed law also clearly identified members of the board of election inspectors, members of the board of canvassers, and/or officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be included in persons who may be held criminally liable for election offenses.

The measure, authored by Representatives Rufus (Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo (Abante Mindanao party-list) Rodriguez, and Erico Aumentado (Bohol), will amend provisions of Batasang Pambansa 881 or the Omnibus Election Code and Republic Act 8189 or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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