AS I have said before, election is like good tidings. Infrastructure projects that will benefit voters but were never in the drawing board of government planners’ months before the elections are suddenly implemented.

The Cebu City Government is frantic and wants to beat the election ban tomorrow by quickly bidding some P200-million worth of infrastructure projects. That’s a lot of money for the May 10 elections!

The bulk of the P200 million will go to repairing the roads at the SRP, NRP and the different barangays. The intention of implementing these projects during election period is none other than to garner votes for City Hall bets.

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The intention of the election law that bans infrastructure projects during the election is to level the playing field because opposition bets, who rely on their own resources, cannot match the vast resources of the government.

Most of the roads identified to undergo repair under the P200-million appropriation that Cebu City Hall is hurrying up to bid out have been dilapidated for years. So why undertake the repair only now? Your answer is as good as mine.

Even if the bidding was done prior to the ban, implementing these projects during the election period somehow defeats the purpose of the law. It seems the Comelec is pre-occupied with the automation that it overlooks this kind of poll violation.

This is not the first time it has happened. And yet, no one, including the opposition, seems interested in questioning the practice before the poll body.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, government officials or agencies are required to report to the Comelec the projects that it undertook during the election period, but before the start of the campaign period.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, for his part, can be held liable under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, when he bragged about the city’s P600-million political budget.

Under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, the use of public funds for any election campaign or any partisan political activity is an election offense. But did anyone sue the mayor for bragging about his P600-million political budget?

Likewise, the mayor’s offer and promise to give money to the elderly, high school graduates, the disabled, as well to raise judges’ allowances is simply vote-buying.

Any person who gives, offers or promises money to any person, association, or community in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for a candidate is vote-buying and prohibited under Section 261 of the same law.

If the offer is made by a candidate and if the candidate is found guilty, the candidate will be disqualified from running. And if elected, he/she will be disqualified from holding office. Is the opposition scared to go after Mayor Tomas for this violation?

We have good laws but our laws are more observed in breach than compliance. Worse, people who are supposed to observe, obey and execute these laws are the ones violating them.

Unless our election laws are enforced to the letter, I doubt we will ever have a clean, peaceful and orderly election.

(elespinoza53@yahoo.com)