A photo of a pick-up truck bearing a government plate used by the Liberal Party in campaign sorties of Mar Roxas is doing the rounds online.
In a Facebook post shared 6987 times as of Thursday afternoon, the Facebook Page CACPC Citizens Against Crime, Poverty and Corruption posted the photo calling the attention of the COMELEC of a glaring violation of the Omnibus Election Code by the Roxas camp.
In the photo, it is very clear that the vehicle in question is a government vehicle based on the description provided by Wikipedia.
Red characters on a white background, LLL-DDD plates that start with the letter “S”.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman warns elected officials from using government vehicles for election campaign purposes.
To quote Atty. Norman Gil Ciudadano of THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman-Mindanao (OMB-MIN), “If the elected officials filed their certificate of candidacy and once the election period starts they no longer sit as the elected official.”
Atty. Ciudadano explained, “once the election period starts they are considered as individuals vying for a position.”
According to Administrative Order No. 239, s. 2008 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, USE OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES is prohibited.
Furthermore, according to Sec. 89. of the Omnibus Election Code under the heading Transportation, food and drinks – It shall be unlawful for any candidate, political party, organization, or any person to give or accept, free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food or drinks or things of value during the five hours before and after a public meeting, on the day preceding the election, and on the day of the election; or to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such purpose.
According to the Comelec website, violation of the rules and regulations of the Commission issued to implement this section shall be an election offense punishable under Section 264 hereof.
In fact, the COMELEC encourage citizens to report to the Commission violations of the provisions of this Code on the conduct of the political campaign, election propaganda and electoral expenditures.
Guess what the Comelec next move on this issue?