COMELEC wishes to formulate a ‘money-ban’ law with Congress

Commission on Election (COMELEC), the country’s governing body for national and local elections is requesting the House of Representatives to create a law limiting the capability of an individual to withdraw and transport certain amount of money before an election. COMELEC believes that having this kind of law will eliminate instances of vote buying during election period.

James Jimenez, COMELEC spokesperson said “it is a measure that intends to curb the practice of vote-buying by prohibiting the unjustifiable withdrawal of certain sums of money or the actual possession of certain amounts of cash in the period immediately preceding Election Day.”

During May 2013 election period, COMELEC issued a Resolution No. 9688 that tried to impose a money-ban, disallowing the transport of PhP500,000 or more within a six-day period and bank withdrawal of more than PhP100,000 in a day. However, this Resolution was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. According to Jimenez it was declared unconstitutional simply because there is no law, and creating a law will make it legal.

“The Supreme Court has already said that it needs a law. Being declared unconstitutional does not mean legislation cannot be passed for that,” Jimenez added.

According to Jimenez, COMELEC is willing to work with the House of Representatives in formulating the said law. “Our Resolution [No. 9688] is already a matter of public records. We believe it will be a good starting and if we get invited for a working group, we hope to discuss it further [in Congress] and see how we can improve it.”

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