Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cong. Leni Robredo faces raps for alleged violation of Election Law

Cong. Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo
Cong. Ma. Leonor "Leni" Robredo
PILI, CSUR – A hearing for the determination of probable cause regarding three election cases lodged against Representative Ma. Leonor "Leni" G. Robredo was held today at the Commission on Election (COMELEC) Provincial office here.

The three cases accuse Cong. Robredo of violating Sections 96 and 98 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), in relation to Sections 262 and 264 of the same law, and engaging in vote buying, using government funds.

Hearing the said cases was Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Regional Director Romeo Fortes, who replaced Camarines Sur Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) Atty. Norman Badiola. Badiola earlier inhibited himself from conducting the preliminary investigation.

Petitioners in these cases are Nelly F. Villafuerte, Cong. Robredo’s opponent during the 2013 polls and former congressman, and governor Luis R. Villafuerte, Nelly’s husband.

In their pleadings, the complainants alleged that respondent Robredo violated the Omnibus Election Code provision on soliciting and receiving campaign contributions from prohibited foreign sources (Sec . 96); and making contribution in any name except his own or receiving contribution or enter or record, in any name other than that of the person by whom it was actually made (Sec 98).

It will be recalled that petitioners averred in their complaint that Cong. Robredo solicited and received campaign contributions from prohibited foreign sources, which is penalized under the Omnibus Election Code with imprisonment and disqualification to hold public office.

In another complaint, the petitioner said that Robredo received contributions, but failed to report the same, as required by law.

The third complaint, was for alleged vote buying using funds from the government.

Regarding the third complaint, the hearing officer ordered the petitioner to submit within ten (10) days documentary as well as testimonial evidence supporting their claim.

In the summary hearing, Fortes ordered the plaintiff as well as the respondent to file their position papers within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from the date of the order.

The petitioner, on the other hand requested that a five-day period be given to both parties to submit their comments to the position papers. After which, the cases will be considered submitted for resolution.

The next hearing of these cases is scheduled on February 28 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
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