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Comelec warns Jasaan mayor of courting election offense

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial elections supervisor in Misamis Oriental has warned Jasaan Mayor Julius Pagaspas that he could be charged for violation of the Fair Elections Act if he would not allow a specific political party to hold campaign rallies in the municipality.

In a three-page resolution dated April 12 this year, provincial elections supervisor Aleli Dayo-Ramirez stated that her office has received a complaint from PaDayon Pilipino represented by Floramae Jo Abbu alleging that the office of the municipal mayor in Jasaan had refused to act on the party’s request to conduct a rally in the said municipality on April 10.

Upon receiving the complaint, Dayo-Ramirez immediately dispatched municipal elections officer Lailani Nazi to conduct an investigation on the matter.

During the course of the probe, Nazi’s office discovered that the office of the mayor of Jasaan granted 29 days for another political party, Team Unity, to conduct a campaign rally in the said municipality while PaDayon Pilipino was asking only for one date.

In her report to Dayo-Ramirez, Nazi concluded that the actions of the mayor of Jasaan constituted a violation of Section 32 of Republic  Act 9006, otherwise known as the Fair Elections Act, which stated that “the approving official shall give all candidates and parties equal and fair opportunity as to date, time and place, to hold public political meetings or rallies.”

Upon receiving the report, Dayo-Ramirez immediately granted PaDayon Pilipino a total of eight days to conduct handshaking and campaign rallies in the said municipality in eight barangays.

Dayo-Ramirez further stated that if the mayor of Jasaan would prevent PaDayon Pilipino from holding the sorties in those dates, he would be liable under the Fair Elections Act.

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