Comelec to poll bets: Shun foreign donations to bankroll campaign


Aspiring candidates in the May 2022 elections may face the possibility disqualification if they will accept campaign donations from foreigners, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez issued the warning as aspiring candidates in the upcoming polls start their fund-raising initiatives.

“Contributions from foreigners and foreign corporations are prohibited,” Jimenez said in a news statement addressing aspiring candidates.

“If they accept donations from prohibited donors, they could be facing an electoral offense charge which could result in disqualification,” he added.

The Omnibus Election Code bans foreigners and foreign corporations from making any direct or indirect contribution to any political activity.

Comelec issued the statement after supporters of Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo recently launched a crowdfunding webpage for her presidential bid next year.

In her Twitter account, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon reminded people behind such a page that “foreigners cannot contribute to any Filipino candidate.”

In the said site, people could donate amounts ranging from P50 to P20,000 to the campaign initiative of Robredo.

Supporters of Robredo replied to Guanzon’s post that Robredo’s crowdfunding site has a tickbox, where donors must disclose they are Filipino citizens.

Automatic listing for new voters

IN a related development, Jimenez admitted that geographic location is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the implementation of the proposed automatic registration for new voters.    

In a brief statement, he said they would need aspiring voters to still register to determine the locality as to where they intend to vote as required under the Voter’s Registration Act (VRA) of 1996.

The VRA requires voter registrants to state the place, where they resided for at least six months prior to an election.

“Registration is necessary to determine a person’s eligibility to vote in local elections. So there would still be a need for an 18-year-old to inform the Comelec of his residence information, and thus sign up to vote in that locality,” Jimenez said.

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