A Question on COMELEC’s Credibility
by Apolinario Villalobos
In the Philippines, it is disheartening to note that offenses are seemed tolerated or allowed to circumvent laws. Also, despite the strong indications of misdeeds, these are let pass due to the absence of laws, but no effort is being made for their formulation.
For instance, the obvious and early campaigning of those who are interested to run during the 2016 election is not considered an offense against electioneering because they have not filed their respective candidacy, yet, and what they are doing is not within the campaign period. How can the Commission on Election be so naïve not to understand what is happening, when even an ordinary Filipino knows that what these people are doing is plain and simple campaigning?
If COMELEC has to maintain its image as “guardian” of honest elections in the country, why can’t it come up with a policy or enhance its already existing ones to put a stop to the mentioned fraudulent practice which is making a fool of the Filipino people? How can COMELEC maintain obsolete rules that tolerate unbecoming practices that smack of deception?
The Filipinos also cannot understand why the COMELEC fail to come up with their judgments against erring overspending candidates immediately after every election when all that its people need to do is tabulate the expenses of candidates to check the total against what is allowed. To say that they are undermanned is foolishness, as this kind of hectic activity is anticipated, hence, budget for such is supposed to be appropriated for contracting auditors which is necessary. What is irritating is that their findings are released as the questioned officials are nearing the end of their term!…or when another election is forthcoming! Worst, COMELEC waits for an interested party to lodge a complaint before conducting an investigation, when it is holding on to the basis for election frauds! If that is the rule, why not change it?
Finally, while the COMELEC as an agency has a mandate, the big question is if the people who are administering it are capable and trustworthy!