Election Offenses on Electoral Contributions and Expenses

Election Offenses,Primers April 6, 2013 5:15 PM

Preliminaries on Electoral Contributions and Expenditures

What does the term “contribution” include under the Omnibus Election Code?

The term “contribution” includes gift, donation, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to contribute, whether or not legally enforceable, made for the purpose of influencing the results of elections. This also includes the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons, the money value of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area.

What is not included in the term “contributions?”

It does not include services rendered without compensations by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party. 

What is the meaning of the term “expenditure” under the Omnibus Election Code?

The term “expenditure” includes payment or deliver of money or anything of value, or a contract, promise or agreement to make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing the results of the election. It shall also include the use of facilities personally owned by the candidate, the money value of the use of which can be assed based on the rates prevailing in the area. 

Who are included in the term “person?”

The term ”person” includes individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation and other organization or group of persons.

 

Election Offenses on Electoral Contributions and Expenditures

What are the requirements for “public rally” with respect to political parties or candidates?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violation of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. The section provides for the duties of political parties or candidates with respect to public rallies as follows:

  1. Notify election registrar concerned of any public rally said political party or candidate intends to organize and hold in the city or municipality; and

  2. Within seven days thereafter, submit to the election registrar a statement of expenses incurred in connection therewith.

During what periods is the giving or accepting of foods, drinks or transportation by any candidate, political party, organizations or any person considered an election offense?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violation of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 89 prohibits any candidate, political party, organizations or any person from giving or accepting, free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food or drinks or things of value during:

  1. Five (5) hours before or after a public meeting;

  2. The day preceding the election;

  3. The day of the election.

Giving or contributing, directly or indirectly any money or thing of value for such purposes is also considered as election offense.

What are other sources of prohibited electoral contributions?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 95 provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive, directly or indirectly,  any contribution for purposes of partisan political activity from any of the persons or entities enumerated herein:

  1. Public or private institutions: However, a loan is allowed if the institution is in the business of lending money, and such loan is in accordance with the laws and granted is in the ordinary course of business.

  2. Natural or juridical persons operating a public utility or in possession of or exploiting any natural resources of the nation;

  3. Natural or juridical persons who hold contracts or sub-contracts to supply the government or any of its division, subdivisions or instrumentalities, with goods or services or to perform construction or other works;

  4. Natural or juridical persons who have been granted franchises, incentives, exemptions, allocations or similar privileges or concessions by the government or any of its divisions, subdivisions, or instrumentalities, including GOCCs;

  5.  Natural or juridical persons who, within one year prior the date of election, have been granted loans or other accommodations in excess of P100,000 by the government or any of its divisions, subdivisions or instrumentalities including GOCCs;

  6. Educational institutions which have received grants of public funds amounting to no less than P100,000;

  7. Officials and employees of the Civil Service, or members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and

  8. Foreigners and foreign corporations.

When is a person, political party, public or private entity considered to be soliciting or receiving prohibited contributions from foreign sources?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 96 lists the following requisites which constitute the election offense of soliciting or receiving contributions from foreign sources. These requisites are:

  1. That the offender is any person, including political party or public or private entity.

  2. That such offender solicits or receives, directly or indirectly, any aid or contribution of whatever form or nature from any foreign national, government or entity; and

  3. That the contribution from foreign sources is for the purpose of influencing the results of the election.

What are other prohibited acts in relation to raising of funds?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 97 states that it shall be unlawful:

  1. For any persons to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, bingo, beauty contests, entertainment, cinematographic, theatrical or other performances for the purpose of raising funds for any election campaign or for the support of any candidate from the commencement of the election period up to and including the day of election.

  2. For any persons or organization, whether civic or religious, directly or indirectly, to solicit and/or accept from any candidate from public office. Or from his campaign manager, agent or representative, or any person acting in his behalf, any gift, food or transportation, contribution or donation in cash or in kind from the commencement of the election period up to and including the day of election EXCEPT normal and customary religious stipends, tithes or collections.

What is the requirement in the Omnibus Election Code regarding the true name of the contributor?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 98 states that no person shall make any contribution in any name except of his own. It further states that no candidate or political party may receive a contribution or enter or record the same in any name other than the person by whom it was actually made.

What is the requirement in reporting of contributions to COMELEC and within what period must it be made?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec 99 requires that:

  1. Every person giving contributions to any candidate, treasurer of the party, or authorized representative of such candidate or treasurer shall file with the Commission a report under oath stating the amount of each contribution, the name of the candidate, agent of the candidate or political party receiving the contribution, and the date of the contribution.

  2. The report shall be done not later than thirty days after the day of election.

What are the limitations on the expenses that a candidate may incur?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 100 provides for the limitations upon the expenses of candidates. Such are:

  1. Maximum amount of expenses of each candidate for his election campaign: An aggregate amount exceeding one peso and fifty centavos (P1.50) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his candidacy.

  2. Provided, That the expenses herein referred to shall include those incurred or caused to be incurred by the candidate, whether in cash or in kind, including the use, rental or hire of land, water or aircraft, equipment, facilities, apparatus and paraphernalia used in the campaign.

  3. Provided, further, That where the land, water or aircraft, equipment, facilities, apparatus and paraphernalia used is owned by the candidate, his contributor or supporter, the Commission is hereby empowered to assess the amount commensurate with the expenses for the use thereof, based on the prevailing rates in the locality and shall be included in the total expenses incurred by the candidate.

This maximum has been modified by Sec. 13 of R.A. No. 7166, thus the following are the maximum amounts that the candidates may spend for an election campaign, to wit:

  1. President and Vice-President: P10.00 for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy

  2. Other candidates: P3.00 for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy

  3. A candidate without any political party and without support from any political party: P5.00 for every such voter

What are the limitations on the expenses of political parties and what are to be included in the total computation of the party’s expenses?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 101 provides the limitations on the expenses of a duly accredited party. Such are:

  1. That the party may spend for the election of its candidates in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates an aggregate amount not exceeding the equivalent of one peso and fifty centavos for every voter currently registered therein.

  2. Expenses incurred by branches, chapters, or committees of such political party shall be included in the computation of the total expenditures of the political party.

  3. Expenses incurred by other political parties shall be considered as expenses of their respective individual candidates and subject to limitation under Section 100 of this Code.

The maximum has been further modified by Sec. 13 of R.A. No. 7166, thus the maximum amount that a registered political party may spend for election campaign is P15.00 for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

What are considered to be lawful expenditures?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 102 lists the different lawful expenditures that may be incurred by any candidate or treasurer of a political party. These are:

  1. For travelling expenses of the candidates and campaign personnel in the course of the campaign and for personal expenses incident thereto

  2. For compensation of campaigners, clerks, stenographers, messengers, and other persons actually employed in the campaign;

  3. For telegraph and telephone tolls, postage, freight and express delivery charges

  4. For stationery, printing and distribution of printed matters relative to candidacy

  5. For employment of watchers at the polls

  6. For rent, maintenance and furnishing of campaign headquarters, office or place of meetings

  7. For political meetings and rallies and the use of sound systems, lights and decorations during said meetings and rallies

  8. For newspaper, radio, television and other public advertisements

  9. For employment of counsel, the cost of which shall not be taken into account in determining the amount of expenses which a candidate or political party may have incurred under Section 100 and 101 hereof

  10. For copying and classifying list of voters, investigating and challenging the right to vote of persons registered in the lists the costs of which shall not be taken into account in determining the amount of expenses which a candidate or political party may have incurred under Sections 100 and 101 hereof

  11. For printing sample ballots in such color, size and maximum number as may be authorized by the Commission and the cost of such printing shall not be taken into account in determining the amount of expenses which a candidate or political party may have incurred under Sections 100 and 101 hereof

Who are the persons authorized to incur election expenses?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 103 states that no person, except the candidate, the treasurer of a political party or any person authorized by such candidate or treasurer, shall make any expenditure in support of or in opposition to any candidate or political party.

The expenditures duly authorized by the candidate or the treasurer of the party shall be considered as expenditures of such candidate or political party.

The authority to incur expenditures shall be in writing, copy of which shall be furnished the Commission signed by the candidate or the treasurer of the party and showing the expenditures so authorized, and shall state the full name and exact address of the person so designated.

What are the prohibited donations by candidates, treasurers of parties or their agents?

Under Sec. 262 of the Omnibus Election Code, the violations of the pertinent portions of this provision shall constitute an election offense. Sec. 104 states that:

  1. No candidate, his or her spouse or any relative within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, or his campaign manager, agent or representative shall during the campaign period, on the day before and on the day of the election, directly or indirectly, make any donation, contribution or gift in cash or in kind, or undertake or contribute to the construction or repair of roads, bridges, school buses, puericulture centers, medical clinics and hospitals, churches or chapels cement pavements, or any structure for public use or for the use of any religious or civic organization. Except:

  • Normal and customary religious dues or contributions, such as religious stipends, tithes or collections on Sundays or other designated collection days.

  • Periodic payments for legitimate scholarships established and school contributions habitually made before the prohibited period.

2. The same prohibition applies to treasurers, agents or representatives of any political party.

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