Comelec flags Davao del Norte's Floirendo for showing off ballot

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2019 03:39 PM | Updated as of May 13 2019 07:20 PM

Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. shows off his voter’s receipt at a polling station in Panabo City. Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in this province said Monday Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. violated several prohibitions of the poll body while he was inside a voting precinct in Panabo City.

Floirendo, who is seeking re-election under Sara Duterte’s regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, showed off his ballot and voter’s receipt to prove that he elected candidates under the ticket.

Under Comelec Resolution No. 10460 Sec. 64, it would be unlawful to show the content of the ballot. 

Violators may face 1 to 6 years imprisonment, disqualification from holding public office, and prevention from voting.

“Violation ba ‘yun, pakita ko? (Was it a violation that I showed?) It’s my right to show my own vote, ‘di ba? (right?)” the lawmaker argued.

“Normally, it’s really much better instead of telling a lie kasi karamihan ng iba, itago nila (because others hide) they tell a lie. But it’s your right to show it if you want to show it para wala na ‘yung intriga-intriga sa buhay (so we can prevent issues in life),” he added.

But a poll body official said this was not legal. 

“No, no, no. Hindi iyan part ng right niya (That’s not part of his right),” noted Atty. Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio, chairperson of Comelec provincial board of canvassers.

The official further encouraged people to be vigilant and report such kind of violations.

“Maging aktibo tayo hindi lang sa pagboto kundi bantayan natin ang buong proseso (Let us be active not just in voting, but let us watch over the whole process),” she said.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said Floirendo may face an election complaint. 

"Bawal magpakita ng balota, bawal magpakita sa resibo ng pagboto. It’s an election offense so if someone files an election complaint, it would be his problem," said Jimenez.

(Showing off one's ballot or receipt is illegal.)

Apart from showing off his ballot, Floirendo also spoke with his partner inside polling precinct, telling her: “Don’t vote for Pimentel ha? He’s the best friend of Alvarez.” 

This could also be another violation, as no one is allowed to speak with others while voting.

Floirendo is supposed to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) as his ally.

However, Senator Koko Pimentel, who is the president of PDP-Laban, is a close friend of Former House Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

- With reports from Katrina Domingo