Comelec tells Isko Moreno critics to file cases-A A +A
Sunday, February 17, 2013
CRITICS of Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno should just file a case instead of trading barbs in public regarding his detention for alleged involvement in illegal gambling on Saturday, a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said.
Moreno and five city councilors were arrested in Sta. Cruz, Manila for allegedly hosting bingo, which the police said is classified as an illegal game under the 35-year-old Presidential Decree 1602. The vice mayor said bingo has been exempted from the list years ago.
Police said they would also determine if the six violated the Omnibus Election Code even if the officials were already released from detention on Sunday due to lack of evidence.
Section 97 of the Code provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainments, or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for an election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including Election Day.”
But Moreno and company can get away with possible election offense since the Poll Automation Law (Republic Act 9369) provides that “unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon that start of the campaign period.”
The incident happened more than a month before the official start of the campaign for local candidates on March 29.
“People eyeing local positions are not yet considered as candidates since the campaign period has not started yet,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
The vice mayor has accused Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim of orchestrating their arrest since the former is now allied with Manila mayoral aspirant and former President Joseph Estrada. (HDT/Sunnex)