Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pampanga provincial board OKs P25M for recall polls vs Panlilio

The provincial board of Pampanga has agreed to provide the Commission on Elections money to finance the recall elections against Governor Eddie Panlilio.

"Twenty five million is too small an investment if it would be used for the progress of the province," Vice-Governor Joseller Guiao told ABS-CBN Pampanga.

Guiao confirmed that the provincial board of Pampanga has agreed to fund the recall elections against the priest turned politician.

He said the amount is "justified" with the almost 220,000 signatures gathered by the recall election petitioners throughout the province.

Board Member Johnny Quiambao of Pampanga's 3rd District, said the money will be taken out of the province's general fund.

Guiao, meanwhile, clarified that the fund allocations has not been officially approved by the provincial board. He said the money will only be approved once the COMELEC approves the recall petition they filed against Panlilio.

The COMELEC in Pampanga has started the verification process for the thousands of signatures submitted by Guiao's group last week.

Panlilio, for his part, scored the P25-million budget allocation for the recall elections. He said the provincial board should instead use the money to more important projects.

"They will use P25 million for the recall while there are so many projects waiting to be funded. It is a total distortion if they push through with this plan,” the governor said.

No money for recall

COMELEC legal chief Fernando Rafanan had said that the filing of the recall petition may go to waste because the poll body doesn't have the funds to finance a recall election in the province.

"If we have no funds, the petition for recall won't move," Rafanan said.

Rafanan, however, said the COMELEC will still act on the recall petition filed by The Kapanalig at Kambilan ning Memalen Pampanga (Kambilan) led by Guiao.

He said the COMELEC branch in Pampanga would have to assess the petition if is sufficient in form and substance.

If the petition was certified sufficient in form and substance, it would have to be submitted in three days to the COMELEC deputy executive director for operations for verification.

Once verified, the petition will go to the COMELEC en banc for deliberation and determination if the poll body has funds for a recall election.

Rafanan said as far as he knows, the COMELEC doesn’t have available funds for a recall election.

He said similar petitions failed to prosper in the poll body’s main office due to lack of funds. -- Mia Reyes, ABS-CBN Pampanga. abs-cbnNEWS.com

Who dares teach should never cease learning. (sa Tagalog, "Bakit nga ba bumababa ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa Pilipinas?")

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