Comelec, Lente ink MOA to monitor candidates’ campaign expenses

Media Coverage,Press April 6, 2013 9:49 PM

Source: (Published 2 April 2013)

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the private lawyers group Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will enhance the monitoring and enforcement of campaign finance laws among candidates.

The four-page MOA was signed by Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim, Lente National Secretariat head Takahiro Kenjie C. Aman and acting executive director Louie Tito F. Guia.

“We are here to help the electorate file complaints and learn the campaign finances in the field, and we will be there. We can support people who want to know about the campaign finances. We have law students in the field that could assist them,” Guia said in an interview after the MOA signing.

Under the agreement, Lente undertakes to perform the following functions:

  1. Conduct public awareness campaigns on campaign finance laws and regulations through public fora, symposia, round table discussions, media interviews, and other similar public information dissemination programs;

  2. Upon request of interested parties, conduct workshops and trainings for volunteer campaign finance monitors;

  3. Upon request, assist the Comelec in conducting briefings for political parties and candidates on campaign finance laws and rules;

  4. Assist complainants in drafting of complaints and affidavits and in initiating the appropriate complaints;

  5. Organize complaints desks, roving teams (on election day), and call centers to aid Comelec and other deputized law enforcement agencies to respond to complaints relating not only to campaign finance laws and regulations, but also to the other election laws;

  6. Monitor the progress of the complaints initiated in the various agencies such as the Department of Justice and its prosecution units;

  7. Participate in the audit, inspection and examination of all disclosure reports and records.

On the other hand, the Comelec shall ensure that:

  1. Its unit and field officers as well as its deputies will recognize, assist and support the activities of Lente volunteers pursuant to Lente’s undertaking stipulated herein;

  2. Its deputized law enforcement agencies will provide security and protection to the volunteers of Lente while in the performance of Lente’s undertaking stipulated herein.

Guia said it is important to monitor the campaign expenses of candidates since it has a direct connection in their governance when elected.

Iyong perang pumapasok sa kampanya may direct relation yan kung paano mamumuno kung sinuman ang nanalo. Imaginin natin kung magkano ang nagastos, at magtanong kung bakit napakalaki ang nagastos ng kandidato tuwing eleksiyon, kung minsan mahigit 10 beses pa sa susuwelduhin nila(Campaign expenses have a direct relation on how a winning candidate will govern. Let’s imagine how much a candidate spent and ask why he has spent so much during the campaign period, sometimes more than 10 times the salary he will receive when elected),” Guia said.

Isa pa, magandang malaman kung saan nanggagaling ang pera ng kandidato. Mahalaga na malaman ng taumbayan kung anong impluwensiya ang pumapasok sa ating mga kandidato (It is good to know where the candidates’ money came from. It is important for people to know who will influence the candidates),” Guia added.—Ernie Reyes

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