MANILA - The House of Representatives has approved on final reading a bill which seeks an efficient procedure for declaring a nuisance candidate and imposing stiffer penalties on the nuisance candidate.
Voting 191-0-0, lawmakers agreed to impose a minimum penalty of P100,000 in fines against any individual who will put the election process "in mockery or disrepute" with his or her filing of a certificate of candidacy (COC).
According to its congressional fact sheet, House Bill 9557, if enacted into law, mandates the Commission on Elections, upon notice and hearing and proof of malice or bad faith, to impose the penalty.
Penalties will also apply to those who file a candidacy to cause confusion among the voters by similarity of names of registered candidates, or by other circumstances or acts, which clearly demonstrate the person has no real intention to run for office.
The Comelec, under the proposed measure, will summon nuisance candidates, individuals that caused their filing, and members of the candidate's party in a hearing to determine existence of malice and bad faith in the filing of the COC in question.
Meanwhile, the bill providing a process for declaring nuisance candidates and imposing penalties on them any person who caused the filing of a nuisance candidate's COC has been approved by the House on 2nd reading.
It will be voted on 3rd and final reading in 3 days.
Candidacies for the 2022 national and local elections will be filed on October 1 to October 8 this year, nearly 6 weeks away.
— Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News