MMDA wants 45-day election liquor ban

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2013 06:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2013 08:23 PM

Law now only covers day before elections, election day

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) wants to extend the liquor ban from 2 days to 45 days for the coming elections.

According to MMDA Francis Tolentino, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) regulations say that it is required to implement a liquor ban, a day before May 13, but it does not indicate that the liquor ban should be implemented for one day only.

He said extending the liquor ban could lessen road accidents and violence during elections.

Tourist spots and establishments like hotels and bars should be exempted though, he said.

The MMDA will file the petition before the Comelec.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, meantime, said the poll body will study the proposal once it is filed.

"Inaantay lang namin formal details, discuss details. Ako OK lang yun pero 45 days masyado malayo naman. 45 days start of campaign period for local. Kalaban natin diyan mga nagtitinda. Magrereklamo iyan malalaking kumpanya yan. Kaya naman siguro naming pinache-check ko ang legality kung pwede expand," he said.

Currently, the election liquor ban is only imposed on election day and the day before.

On Twitter, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said: "Ang liquor ban ay base sa BP881. At sabi ng batas, 'Day before the election' and on 'election day.' Why are we even talking about this?" -- With RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News