Not disqualified: Comelec quells false posts about Robredo’s presidential bid

October 18, 2021 - 4:39 PM
Vice President Leni Robredo poses after filing her certificate of candidacy for president in the 2022 national election, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, October 7, 2021. (Ezra Acayan/Pool via Reuters)

The Commission on Elections dismissed social media posts claiming that Vice President Leni Robredo was disqualified from the presidential race.

Poll spokesperson James Jimenez announced this on Twitter on October 17.

“VP Leni Robredo has not been disqualified. Video and articles that imply or suggest otherwise are #fakenews,” Jimenez wrote.

He also reiterated Comelec’s rules on crowdfunding for political candidates.

“COMELEC’s reminders on prohibited sources of funding apply to all would-be candidates. #fightfake,” Jimenez said.

False videos and articles about Robredo’s alleged disqualification from running on the coming national elections in 2022  circulated on social media over the weekend.

These social media posts surfaced after Robredo’s supporters launched an online fundraising page for her presidential campaign.

The organizers called Team Leni Robredo launched this website on October 12.

Based on the website, volunteers can donate from P50 and above to support Robredo.

Poll commissioner Rowena Guanzon previously reacted to a report about this crowdsourcing effort.

In a quote-retweet, Guanzon reminded politicians that foreigners are prohibited from contributing to any Filipino candidate.

“Foreigners cannot contribute to any Filipino candidate,” she wrote.

This is stated in Section 96 of the Omnibus Election Code, wherein:

“It shall be unlawful for any person, including a political party or public or private entity to solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, any aid or contribution of whatever form or nature from any foreign national, government or entity for the purposes of influencing the results of the election.”

The names of donors and contributors should also be declared and recorded as required under section 98 of the OEC, wherein:

“No person shall make any contribution in any name except his own nor shall any candidate or treasurer of a political party receive a contribution or enter or record the same in any name other than that of the person by whom it was actually made.”

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez stated that the vice president was not involved in this fundraising initiative.

“The crowdfunding page is a volunteer initiative led by TLR,” Gutierrez said.

The Comelec has not yet released the official names of candidates for the coming elections.

All personalities who have filed their candidacies, therefore, incur no violations yet because they are not deemed official by the poll body.

Jimenez noted this under the comments section of his main tweet.

He was replying to a user who asked about possible electioneering violations of some candidates.

In response, Jimenez said: “Same deal. Pare-pareho silang lahat na walang violation dahil hindi pa naman sila official candidates.”