Brillantes: Known political figure may face disqualification due to excessive spending

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, (PNA) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes on Wednesday disclosed that a known political figure who had just won in the recent 2013 elections may face disqualification due to excessive spending.

“Lumampas siya sa gastos. Puwede naming i-disqualify. Matatanggal siya, mataas na tao at kilala ito ng marami,” Brillantes told reporters while waiting for his turn to defend his 2014 budget.

When asked if he is referring to a senator, Brillantes said: “Hindi naman ganoon kataas. Kung senador kawawa naman kami kasi nanghihingi pa kami ng badyet. Kung senador, hindi ko muna ia-announce at baka hindi kami bigyan ng badyet eh, hindi senador.”

Brillantes refused to name who the incumbent official was, but assured that the Comelec will work for his ouster.

“Iyung tatanggalin namin, talagang sobra ang gastos,” Brillantes said claiming that the big spender comes from the opposition camp.

When pressed by reporters about the identity of the official, Brillantes said “basta kilala. Siguradong ipapa-disqualify at may findings na kami.”

The poll chief also refused to give details about the expenditures of the incumbent official in the last elections.

He said the Comelec will push for the administrative aspect of the complaint against the unnamed official for his ouster while the second one refers to criminal one for violation of campaign finance laws.

“Iyung isa is criminal for violation of campaign finance laws and the other one is administrative or disqualification to take him out as incumbent official,” Brillantes stressed.

“Sa administrative kami [ang mag-decide]. Sa criminal naman kami mag-preliminary investigation, iyun ang malapit na naming matapos, isasampa namin sa court for criminal prosecution,” Brillantes explained.

Before the 2013 elections, the poll body created the Campaign Finance Unit tasked to monitor campaign contributions and spending during elections.The Comelec also tapped the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Commission on Audit, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to help their officials in monitoring candidates’ compliance with the country’s campaign finance laws.