Comelec Wants Nuisance Candidates Banned in Two Consecutive Polls

Poll body also supports stiffer fines.
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The Commission on Elections on Wednesday proposed to disqualify personalities who have been declared as nuisance candidates from seeking any elective position for two consecutive polls.

Measures have been filed both in the Senate and the House of Representatives seeking stiffer penalties for nuisance candidates to prevent the election process from being put in a mockery.

Comelec law department director Maria Norina Tangaro-Caringal said the poll body supports fining nuisance candidates with P100,000, as proposed in the House.

"We also would like to propose that those who have been declared as nuisance candidates be disqualified from running for two successive elections," she told senators during a Senate electoral reform panel hearing.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates may be declared "nuisance" if their candidacy was filed only to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or their intention to run for office could cause confusion among voters because of the similarity of their names to other registered candidates.

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Candidates may also be considered "nuisance" if the Comelec determined that they have no "bona fide" intention in running for public office.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who proposed to fine those who will be declared nuisance candidates with P50,000, said the election process should be guarded against abuse.

"Hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap ang mga gawain na ang intensyon ay halata namang makapanlito lamang o gawing katawa-tawa ang eleksyon," he said.

Gatchalian's bill seeks to insert a new provision which declares a candidate "nuisance" if the candidacy is filed "to obtain money, profit, or any other consideration."

While Gatchalian's measure remains pending at the committee level, its counterpart in the House of Representatives was approved on third and final reading last August.

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