Musa files case with Comelec seeking to unseat Climaco PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 August 2016 14:16

By BHONG SIMBAJON

After losing the fight for a seat at the City Council, Ismael Musa and a certain MelhamTingkong Attan formally filed a disqualification case against Mayor Beng Climaco before the Commission on Elections in Quezon City last week for alleged overspending in the May elections in violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

In an interview with newsmen, Musa said that Mayor Climaco has violated the Omnibus Election Code, when she exceeded her expenditures in relation to her campaign for the 2016 election.

Climaco’s Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) submitted to the Comelec, showed a total expenditure P1,319,389.22  which is more than what is allowed (P81, 004.22) under the Fair Election Act.

Musa said that it was very clear that Climaco violated Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code which provides that “Any candidate, who in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision by a competent court guilty of, or found by the commission of having spent in his/her election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code, shall be disqualified from continuing as candidate, or if he/she has been elected, from holding the office.”

He said that Climaco should be disqualified from being proclaimed and must be removed as City Mayor of Zamboanga City and/or discharging the function of the office of the City Mayor and shall be imposed all accessory penalties provided by law.

Musa presented to newsmen a certified true copy of  Climaco’s SOCE which indicates that per records available at COMELEC Office of the Election Officer, Climaco has the total expenditures of  P1,319,389.22.

Pursuant to Section 13, of RA 7166, otherwise known as “An act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations —  “The aggregate amount that a candidate or registered political party may spend for election campaign shall be: Ten Pesos (10.00) for President and Vice-President; and for other candidates will be Three Pesos (3.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he/she filed his/her certificate of candidacy. Provided that a candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend Five Pesos (5.00) for every such voter. Thus the limit the candidate may spend for election campaign for other candidates, particularly the Mayor during the May 9,2016 national and local elections was P1,238,385.00 basing on the official number of registered voters of Zamboanga City who voted in last elections in the city which is 412,795 only. However, in total disregard for the position of Mayor Climaco, under the fair election act, she exceeded in the total allowable expenditures in an amount of P81,004.22.”

“This is a clear violation of the mayor, she has spent excessively in her campaign of what is only allowed by this Code, then she should be disqualified from holding her present office,” Musa said.

On the other hand, the effect of disqualification is provided under Section 6 of RA 6646, which states that; “Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him/her shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he/she is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of guilt is strong.

Musa said that he is optimistic that COMELEC Law Department will act on this complaint in fairness to the people of Zamboanga City “who deserve the right to obtain rightful and not deceiving leaders for the city”. – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News