Criminal charges have been approved for filing in court by the Commission on Elections (en banc) against former city mayor Dan Lim and two radio broadcasters in the province in violation of the Fair Election Act and the Omnibus Election Code.
If proven guilty of the election-related charges, Lim may be slapped with perpetual disqualification to hold public office and the right to vote, while his two co-accused, Ted Ayeng and Lito Responte, both of station DYTR, may lose their license to engage in radio broadcast, and their station is facing the possibility of losing its franchise to operate in Bohol, said lawyer Lord “Popot” Marapao IV, counsel for provincial administrator Ae Damalerio, who filed the case against the three respondents before the holding of the May 13 elections.
In a resolution of Comelec (en banc) issued on August 10, 2017, the poll body’s final verdict found probable cause and strong evidence that the three had violated the country’s election laws.
Atty. Marapao said that the case against the former city mayor is slated to be filed this week before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Atty. Marapao, citing Section 264 of RA 9006, said that “any person found guilty of any election offense under this Code shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation. In addition, the guilty party shall be sentenced to suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage.”
Marapao, quoting Section 7 of Comelec Resolution No. 9615, said that media outlets which violate election rules “shall be criminally liable with the candidate and, if applicable, further suffer the penalties of suspension or revocation of franchise or permit in accordance with law.”
The case stemmed from Lim’s defiance of Comelec laws that prohibit any media personality from continuing his media-related activity if he has filed his certificate of candidacy for an election.
In deciding on the complaint filed by Damalerio, the Comelec said Lim “continued to go on-air even after the start of the campaign period for local elective officials on April 29, 2013 in his radio program “Ang Mayor sa Dakbayan” which has a regular schedule every Saturday, 8:00 – 10:00am over station dyTR.”
The poll body cited Lim for ignoring the letter sent by Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano, provincial election supervisor IV of Bohol, to the station manager of dyTR asking the mayor to stop broadcasting on his radio program.
It may be recalled that Lim who run for congressman against Rep. Rene Relampagos was mounting his campaign over the airlanes where he attacked his political opponent.