House approves stiffer penalties for election related offenses

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading on Tuesday a measure that imposes stiffer penalties for election related offenses.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said House Bill 4111 aims heavier penalties for election offenses, more so when attended by violence, coercion, intimidation, force or threats.

The bill author noted that the statute is intended to safeguard the integrity of the country's electoral processes and ensure clean, orderly, honest and credible elections.


The measure also mandates that "any person found guilty of any election offense under the proposed act shall be meted imprisonment of not less than six years and one day but not more than 12 years and shall not be subject to probation."

Rodriguez said that aside from imprisonment, violators may also face perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage depending on the gravity of the offense.

He cited that the any officer or employee of the Commission on elections, or any officer, employee or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other paramilitary units that now exist found guilty of any election offense under this Act shall be punished with the maximum penalty as provided.

The bill also provides that any political party, political coalition, party-list, or aggrupation organized for political purpose to which the guilty party is a member shall be made to pay a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos, as part of the civil liability in connection with the election offense. (Sunnex)

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