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The Commission on Elections on Friday said administration senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal should explain why she should not be charged for holding an online contest with an iPad as prize weeks into the campaign season.
In an interview, lawyer Esmeralda Amora-Ladra, head of the Comelec law department, said they will be sending out the notice next week.
“We would like to get an explanation,” Ladra told reporters.
Told that Madrigal has already apologized for the contest, Ladra said they have yet to receive a formal apology.
“OK yung sorry, pero gusto sana namin may explanation in writing,” she said.
“At this point, lahat ng resolutions have been published so ang presumption everyone already knows kung ano yung mga batas, yung implementing rules especially. We don’t like the idea na lagi na lang kami nagpapublish ng batas and then hindi natin iniimplement,” she added.
"Friends of Jamby" invited netizens to win an iPad by liking Jamby’s fan page and completing the sentence "Corruption is bad because…" by using not more than seven words.
On the Twitter account of senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal @TheRealJamby, she posted "Speak your mind about corruption and win an iPad."
Ladra said Madrigal's online contest could be considered as vote buying under Section 97 of the Omnibus Election Code.
The provision states 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."
It also states that it shall be unlawful "for any person or organization, whether civic or religious, directly or indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any candidate for public office, or from his campaign manager, agent or representative, or any person acting in their behalf, any gift, food, transportation, contribution or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including election day."
Ladra said they have already printed the materials uploaded on Madrigal’s Facebook and Twitter account before it was taken down.
She said they will also look into the contest initiated by @SerbisyongKoko over Twitter asking netizens to submit designs for a baller ID. The winning design will be worn by re-electionist Senator Koko Pimentel.
The contest, however, does not promise a prize. — RSJ, GMA News