Five Dagupan candidates for councilor sued with disqualification
DAGUPAN CITY – Five candidates for councilor identified with Vice Mayor Brian Lim were charged with violation of election law and disqualification from office even if they win in the May 9 poll.
Respondents Redford Christian P. Erfe-Mejia, Nicanor D. Aquino, Teddy E. Villamil, Guillermo P. Vallejos, and Luis M. Samson, Jr., were charged last April 28 at the Commission on Elections by one Florence Claveria with violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
Claveria claimed they were found unlawfully soliciting votes in a bingo bonanza game for the primary purpose of illegally influencing the voters.
Claveria said the five bets conspired with one another in clear violation of the election laws “knowingly and intentionally held and sponsored ‘bingo sessions’ and distributed prices and other bingo paraphernalia for the purpose of soliciting votes and influencing the electorates and promising rewards to the people and voters since the campaign period started last February 9 this year”.
Claveria cited the following places and dates like inside the Mangin Elementary School, Barangay Mangin here sometime on March 20, 2016 at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening; inside Tambac Elementary School in Barangay Tambac here on March 21, 2016 at about 7: o’clock in the evening; inside the Bolosan Elementary School at Barangay Bolosan here on March 23, 2016; and inside the Malued Elementary School at Barangay Malued here at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening.
The Omnibus Election Code provides that “it is unlawful for any person to hold dances, lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, “BINGO”, beauty contests, the entertainment or cinematographic, theatrical or other performances from the commencement of the election period up to and including Election Day”.
The complainant cited in his 13-pages affidavit that she video-taped the events.
She presented the videotapes as “Annex A” with the corresponding “Bingo Cards” which are attached and marked as “Annexes B to Q”.
The bingo cards have statement on each of their upper part “Magic Group of Companies JCI Dagupan Bangus BINGO for a Cause” with different combination of numbers from one to two on the rest of the card.
Magic Group of Companies is run by the family of the vice mayor and JCI is a civic organization headed by Lim.
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