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Cheers and jeers for senatorial bets

Comelec poises ax on 2 more; Catholics praise pro-lifers The Commission on Elections and the Catholics have taken separates moves to serve notice of their displeasure over what they believe are the adverse actions of certain senatorial candidates. On Saturday, Comelec says that Juan Edgardo Angara of the LP coalition and Teodoro Casino, an independent, face disqualification for  allegedly installing campaign posters beyond the designated area, an election offense. For the Catholics in Bacolod City, there were cheers and jeers on Friday night after they hung a giant tarpaulin labeling President Aquino’s LP coalition according to how they had voted on the reproductive health law in Congress. Thus, “Team Patay” described those who voted against, and “Team Buhay” for the pro-life candidates.  Angara, who was tagged ‘anti-life’ protested the name-calling and said he was saddened by the position of the Diocese of San Sebastian in Bacolod City. For her part, former Rep. Cynthia Villar also of Team Pnoy was labeled as Team Buhay (pro-life), which she said was an endorsement from the vote-rich Catholics. Villar expressed elation over the tag. “ I’m grateful for the support. Any support  is welcome. Of course, we respect the views and stand of the other candidates (in the Team Patay).“ Two other senatorial candidates—Risa Hontiveros and Edward Hagedorn—were already given notices to remove their campaign materials, which the Comelec found posted outside the common poster area. In his Twitter account, Comelec  chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. posted : “Pls note @risahontiveros, @EdwardHagedorn, @teddycasino & @sonnyangara of our notices to remove your ILLEGAL posters/propaganda.” He gave the four bets  three days to remove  their illegal posters regardless of location. An appropriate case will be immediately filed if  the posters were not removed, he said. Brillantes said the commission also notified the party-list groups—Buhay (3 notices), Kabataan (3), Anak Mindanao (1), Sanlakas (1), LPGMA (3), PBA (1), 1-Jam (1) and Piston (1) -- of their campaign rule violations. The poll body also gave Jamby Madrigal   three days to explain in writing why she offered Apple iPads through her social media Web sites and why the poll body should not file a case against her for violating election laws. Another Team Pnoy senatorial bet Aquilino Pimentel III is the subject of verification of the commission for alleged illegal online campaigning. In his Facebook account, Pimentel reportedly enticed the people online to choose the best baller ID design for the Team PNoy senatorial candidate. In another post,  Pimentel asked netizens to play the game, “Caption This.” It said the entrant with the best caption will receive a prize from Pimentel. Brillantes said that while the Comelec has somewhat eased monitoring campaign spending in previous elections, the poll body will now be stricter. Resolution 9476, Brillantes said, aimed to regulate campaign spending and disclosure. It also created the commission’s Campaign Finance Unit  tasked to monitor, compile and analyze expenditures of each candidate. Comelec requires the candidates to file their statement of contributions and expenses within 30 days after the elections. A fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 at the discretion of the Comelec will be imposed on the violators. Senatorial, congressional and other local candidates registered under a political party are only authorized to spend P3 for every voter. Independent candidates without any support from any political party are only authorized to spend P5 for every registered voter. Political parties and party-list groups may only spend P5 for every voter in the constituency. The statement of contributions and expenses serves as basis for Comelec to determine whether the candidates or parties exceeded the spending limit. In Bacolod City during a campaign rally,   Alan Cayetano and Loren Legarda  City  explained that they voted for the passage of the measure “to uphold the greater interest of the people who advocate responsible parenthood.” Like Angara and Cayetano, Legarda said she respected the decision of the Catholic Church, but explained that there was no provision allowing abortion in the RH law. The Cathedral of San Sebastian placed a huge tarpaulin emblazoned with calls for a conscience vote on administration candidates who voted for  and against the controversial RH Law. Apart from Villar, the s  members of  Team Buhay or those who opposed the RH Law included San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito, Senator Gringo Honasan, House Deputy Minority Leader and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay; and re-electionist  Pimentel  and Antonio Trillanes IV. Ejercito, Honasan and Magsaysay are from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), while Pimentel, Trillanes Villar are from the administration’s Team PNoy slate. Also listed in Team Buhay are party-list groups Buhay and Ang Pamilya. With Maricel Cruz         
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