‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ | Senatorial aspirant refutes anew Comelec’s nuisance tag
4 weeks ago
(NOVEMBER 19, 2018) – Lawyer and University of Santo Tomas professor Angelo De Alban on Monday refuted the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) law department’s petition to declare him as a “nuisance candidate,” citing loopholes in the existing laws followed by the poll body.
“The petition states that though I’m a lawyer and a teacher, those are not enough to show that I’m capable to wage a nationwide campaign,” he said in an interview with One News’ Agenda.
“How much does COMELEC want us to produce? They have no clear standard,” he added.
COMELEC’s law department had earlier declared De Alban as a nuisance candidate due to his financial incapacity to run a nationwide campaign.
But under the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), nuisance candidates are defined as those who file COCs “in mockery of the election process; to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the COC has been filed.”
“It is not stated in the OEC that you have to be financially capacitated to wage a nationwide campaign. I don’t know the basis why they used ‘financial incapability’ [against me],” De Alban said.
The senatorial aspirant also called for the amendment of the OEC and for the COMELEC to “give meaning to the spirit of the Constitution.”
“OEC was enacted in 1983. There is really a need for a new law that will amend or modify the code in totality, not just a few points,” he said, noting that there is an urgent need for a clearer definition of a nuisance candidate.
Meanwhile, election lawyer George Garcia said that Congress should do its part in ironing out kinks in the OEC.
“We are still operating under the old laws. We have to modernize our laws. It is for Congress and not COMELEC,” he said. “Why should we not allow those with good, modest intentions to run for public office? Let them present themselves.”