Law Innovations (Philippines)

Updates in Philippine law, upgrades for the Filipino lawyer

Posts Tagged ‘election law’

Handouts: Election Day Guide (Gabay Para Sa Mga Botante)/ Comelec Resolution No. 8839

Posted by lawinnovations on May 8, 2010

We’ve prepared a one-page guide to voting (English and Filipino versions) which the Filipino voters can bring with them to the polling places as they cast their ballots on election day. Given that the experience of automated elections is novel, there likely will be some confusion at the precinct places, and rampant opportunity to exploit if not frustrate the sacred right to suffrage. This guide, which is based on Comelec Resolution No. 8786 issued last 6 March 2010, will hopefully arm and protect the voter, providing an immediate reference for them should any questions or challenges arise on election day. The guides are in PDF format, please feel free to mass produce them if you wish and give out to friends, family and neighbors.

Law Innovations is a strictly non-partisan organization, and this project was developed solely at our own initiative, without the assistance of any political organization (or anybody else actually). We do however urge our voters to vote deliberately and wisely.

Gabay Para sa Botante, Halalan 2010 (PDF)

Voters Election Day Guide (PDF)


Last April 30, the COMELEC released Resolution No. 8839, which details the Contingency Procedures to be observed should there be problems in the operation of the Automated Election System. The Resolution is available at the COMELEC website, but should there be problems accessing the same, it is available for download here.

COMELEC Resolution No. 8839


Posted in Election | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

How UP Diliman Implemented Its Own Automated Voting System

Posted by Oli Reyes on February 18, 2010

(Note: Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, Director of the COMELEC Law Department, has accepted the invitation of Law Innovations to speak on the 2010 automated national elections at its first MCLE Series (36-hours full credit) scheduled for 11, 12, 18 & 19 March 2010. E-mail for more details)

As the Philippines prepares for its first automated national elections in May 2010, we may as well look to the University of the Philippines-Diliman, which has implemented automated voting for all its local student university-wide elections since 2009. While the framework of the U.P. Diliman voting system (dubbed “Halalan”) requires no paper ballots and is thus radically different from that which will be utilized in our own national polls, it may be a source of inspiration and future lessons as our country adjusts to the prospect of an automated electoral future.

With the assistance of U.P. College of Law Secretary Solomon Lumba, I was able to interview the current Project Manager of Halalan, Rystraum Gamonez, a second year Computer Science student at the U.P. College of Engineering. Rystraum explained that Halalan was developed after members of his campus organization, the UP Linux Users Group (UnPLUG), were watching a typically prolonged tabulation of paper ballots for the University Student Council election, wondering whether an automated voting system for the campus was possible. They scoured the Internet for available election software for their purposes, only to find none. To their credit, they decided then to develop one themselves, and the software they developed was used, first in local College of Engineering elections, then by three other colleges in their own local council elections, before it was finally adopted by the entire university for the student council elections of 2009. The efforts of the developers of Halalan have hardly remained anonymous. For developing the Halalan software, UnPLUG won an award during the 2006 Software Freedom Day, a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software initiated by Software Freedom International and co-sponsored then by IBM. The prize — an IBM Power5 server which is currently used as the central server for Halalan. The team of developers who invented Halalan: Waldemar Bautista, Ralph Justin Arce, John Michael Bitanga, Vanessa Rose Castro, Wigi Vei Oliveros, Antonio Mari San Miguel, DJ Sison, Carlo Santos and Orly Tarun.

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Posted in Technology and Law | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are Campaign Contributions Subject to Donor’s Tax?

Posted by Oli Reyes on November 17, 2009

With the Philippine campaign season approaching, it is worth asking whether campaign contributions are subject to the donor’s tax which is generally assessed on all gifts pursuant to the National Internal Revenue Code.

The quick answer is “No”. Section 13 of Republic Act No. 7166 explicitly provides that “[a]ny provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding any contribution in cash or in kind to any candidate or political party or coalition of parties for campaign purposes, duly reported to the Commission [on Elections] shall not be subject to the payment of any gift tax.” The phrase “duly reported to the Commission” establishes an important caveat, and it is very arguable that such contributions which were not reported to the COMELEC may be subject to the donor’s tax. Who is bound to “duly report to the COMELEC” for the purposes of Section 13? Both the campaign donor and the candidate/political party receiving the campaign contributions are duty-bound under law to report these contributions with the COMELEC. Under Section 99 of the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. 881), the person who gives campaign contributions is obliged to file with the COMELEC not later than thirty days after the election “a report under oath stating the amount of each contribution, the name of the candidate, agent of the candidate or political party receiving the contribution, and the date of the contribution.” At the same time, under Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166, within the same thirty-day period, the candidate and the treasurer of the political party are also obliged to file “the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Jurisprudence | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »