Tuesday, May 15, 2007
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Read your law, bully!

I'm appalled (again) by this little mayor running his small fiefdom flexing his puny muscles against a poor, hapless and defenseless poll watcher merely there to do her job for a few lousy bucks.

Apparently, he claims that a shirt worn by the watcher with the name of the political party (an opposing party) in polling places constitutes illegal campaigning (or electioneering during a prohibited period), and then promptly made a "citizen's arrest"

This little bully even threated to "arrest" a person trying to argue that it was not electioneering, then insinuating this defender's ignorance of the law. "Read your law, baby!" this bully jeered.

Well, I have been reading my law and it defines campaigning (or election campaign or a partisan political activity) as an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office (Section 79, Omnibus Election Code).

And indeed, Section 261 (k) of the same law defines unlawful electioneering as soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda on the day of registration before the board of election inspectors and on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters thereof.

As I have been reading these laws, wearing a shirt with the name of the political party in the polling place cannot be considered unlawful electioneering because it does not solicit or invoke the recall of any particular candidate. Further, that political party is not a party list candidate. The party is not running for a particular office so wearing that party's name in a shirt cannot be electioneering.

So right back at you, bully!

Also, the COMELEC Law Department will determine if that poor watcher will be prosecuted for an election offense and not your city prosecutors... So you can kiss putting her in jail goodbye and you may face another administrative case the very first day you assume office...

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