BO-PK bet seeks to disqualify Rama
A candidate for councilor under Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Cebu City Mayor Michael L. Rama from holding public office for distributing incentives to barangay officials without clearance from the poll body.
“While I find the giving of allowances to barangay officials laudable, the disbursement in this particular case was made at such time wherein the release of funds during the campaign period is prohibited without securing first an exemption or approval from the Comelec, hence, illegal,” BO-PK bet Danilo Pacaña said in his complaint filed before Comelec 7 yesterday.
Pacaña, a certified public accountant, attached to his complaint some newspaper clippings about the distribution of the incentives last April 6.
Each barangay captain was given P15,000 as honorarium for the first quarter of the year at P5,000 per month. Barangay councilors each received P9,000 while barangay secretaries and treasurers got P6,000 each.
Rama, for his part, cited an opinion by the City Legal Office stating that the distribution is considered an exception to the Comelec prohibitions since it’s “already earned for services rendered.”
Pacaña alleged that the distribution contravenes Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code which states that any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value to induce them to vote for a candidate is considered as vote-buying.
The mayor said he will answer the complaint after the May 9 elections.
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