Comelec insists on bond proposal for aspirants

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 28 2014 03:28 AM | Updated as of Feb 28 2014 11:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite opposition from some lawmakers, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is insisting on a proposal to require aspirants for elective office to post a bond.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they want to keep nuisance candidates away from electoral exercises when they made the proposal to Congress.

“We will not be dictated on by remarks at this point, we have only heard of a few reactions,” he said.

“But what about the others? Will they agree to our proposal? Will they be champions of this? Is that the whole two Houses already? I don’t think so. Then maybe, we can still talk about it.”

Representatives Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada, Silvestre Bello III of 1-ABAP, Walden Bello of Akbayan and Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite opposed the recommendation during a hearing of the House of Representatives’ committee on suffrage and electoral reform.

It might violate the Constitution and deprive candidates of their right to run for public office, they said.

Jimenez said the Comelec does not intend to infringe on the rights of any candidate or voter.

“Why don’t we give it a try?” he said. “Let us not shut down ideas immediately. These are just ideas. There is even no draft bill yet. Can we talk about it first?”

Jimenez said the Comelec is not targeting the eligibility of candidates.

“We are pointing at the orderliness of elections. This is not meant to discriminate in favor of moneyed candidates,” he said. “It does not have to be personal funds. You can ask for supporters to pledge money.”