Early filing of COCs ‘disadvantageous to bets’-A A +A
Monday, October 8, 2012
FILING of certificates of candidacy (COCs) seven months before the 2013 midterm polls is good to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) but very disadvantageous, in terms of finances, to candidates, a political analyst said.
The upcoming elections will be the most costly in history on the part of candidates, said Ladylyn Lim, political science associate professor of the University of the Philippines Tacloban College.
“Politicians will have to spend a lot on Christmas celebrations, New Year festivities, Valentines, graduation rites, fiestas, solicitations, and medical assistance even before campaign period. We can expect that people will approach them this early because they are officially known as candidates,” Lim said.
The political analyst said the habit of asking from politicians epitomizes the reality that people are not contented with government services.
“I don’t know how candidates will discipline people. Voters will take advantage of the generosity of candidates before elections. People believed that politicians are using taxpayer’s money in their campaign. This kind of mentality prevailing among voters is a bad sign,” Lim said.
She said the practice will only be stopped if all candidates will strictly adhere to campaign spending limits under Republic Act 7166, the Act on Synchronized Local and National Elections and for Electoral Reforms.
Under the law, every candidate with a political party may spend only P3 for every voter plus another P5 from his political party.
Independent candidates without support from any political party may be allowed to spend P5 for every voter.
“I don’t think popular candidates are following these rules on expenditures with too much campaign spending and vote buying,” she said.
The foreseen skyrocketing expenses of candidates is very alarming, according to her, because politicians will surely do everything to get a return of what they have invested.
“We can expect that corruption will continue after 2013 because of too much election spending. They may not be too honest to admit it but politicians will always find a way to recover their expenditures. There is limit in election spending but look nobody is in jail or facing charges for committing that offense,” she said.
On the other side of the spectrum, the early filing of COCs will help the Comelec in setting of disqualification cases, substitutions, automation process, among others. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)