The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it is looking to file at least 500 cases against candidates who have been summoned by its Task Force Anti-Epal for premature campaigning. In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said there are more candidates that will be summoned to explain why they should not be disqualified from running in the Barangay and Sangguniang Elections (BSKE) later this month. 'We have sent 4,000 show cause orders (SCOs). According to the Task Force Anti-Epal, we have around 500 solid cases. So, we will do what we started last Friday. We will have a case to file until we exhaust all of them that really have potential, that will definitely result in disqualification. And the commitment of the commission en banc is to they removed from the list (of candidates) before October 30,' he said. On Sept. 29, the poll body filed petitions for disqualification against 35 BSKE bets. 'When they are disqualified by the Comelec, they are automatically removed from the list of candidates, they can no longer participate and we won't stop there. After that, we will be conducting a preliminary investigation to determine if we have probable cause, let's proceed with our election offense,' he added. Laudiangco said violators can face administrative and criminal cases for violation of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning, aside from disqualification (Section 62) and election offenses (Section 262). 'They can elevate their cases before the Supreme Court. If they could not get a temporary restraining order within five days, the Commission's resolution will become final and executory, and we will remove them from the list of candidates,' he said. The official campaign period for the Oct. 30 polls will begin from Oct. 19 to 28.
Source: Philippines News Agency