What is the COMELEC implementing Rule regarding the liquor ban in connection with the May 2013 elections?
Resolution No. 9582 otherwise known as the RULES AND REGULATIONS ON THE LIQUOR BAN IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAY 13, 2013 AUTOMATED SYNCHRONIZED NATIONAL, LOCAL AND ARMM REGIONAL ELECTIONS. Said resolution was promulgated on 18 December 2012.
Is there any basis regarding the COMELEC’s Rule for the prohibition of liquor during election?
Yes. The COMELEC’s Rule is based on the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines which provides that:
Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts. – The following shall be guilty of an election offense:
(dd) Other prohibitions:
(1) Any person who sells, furnishes, offers, buys, serves or takes intoxicating liquor on the days fixed by law for the registration of voters in the polling place, or on the day before the election or on the election day. Provided, That hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted for justifiable reasons upon prior authority of the Commission. Provided, further, That foreign tourist taking intoxicating liquor in said authorized hotels or establishments are exempted from the provisions of this sub-paragraph.”
Violation of said prohibited acts shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years and shall not be subject to probation, and in addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.
What is prohibited under Resolution No. 9582?
It shall be unlawful for any person, including owners and managers of hotels and establishments to sell, furnish, offer, buy, serve, or take intoxicating liquor anywhere in the Philippines.
When is the liquor ban in force and effect?
The liquor ban shall be in force and effect on the day before the election (May 12, 2013) and on election day (May 13, 2013).
Is there any exemption on liquor ban?
Yes. Hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted from the liquor ban.
Only foreign tourists taking intoxicating liquor in said authorized hotels or establishments are exempted from the prohibition.
What is the requirement to avail the exemption?
The Hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism shall secure prior written authority upon showing that there are justifiable reasons therefor from the action officers enumerated in Sec. 4 of the Rule.
Where shall Hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism apply for and secure exemption?
Section 4 of the Rule provides that Applications for exemption together with supporting documents, shall be filed with, and duly acted upon by the following:
- Regional Election Director of the National Capital Region (NCR), in cases of hotels and other establishments located In the NCR;
- Provincial Election Supervisors with respect to establishments located in the municipalities within their respective provinces; and
- City Election Officers with respect to those located within their respective cities/districts.
What are the conditions for the grant of exemption?
Exemption may be granted only upon compliance and submission of the following:
- the request/petition/application for exemption must be under oath and must contain a statement that the hotel/establishment operators/owners have not been convicted for an election offense;
- A certification by the Department of Tourism shall state that the requesting hotel or establishment is:
- tourist-oriented; and
- habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourist.
- Currently licensed to do business; and
- Has paid the required taxes and/or fees imposed by the government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.
May the exemption granted be revoked or withdrawn?
Yes. The exemption granted may be revoked or withdrawn by the Commission upon petition of any interested party on showing, among others, that the reason upon which the exemption was made does not exist or is not justifiable, or that the requesting party or applicant has committed misrepresentation in the application, or introduced or submitted falsified documents.
Who shall implement the Rule?
The Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors, Election Officers, and the COMELEC Election Laws Enforcement Team, if any, which will be fielded by the Commission in specific areas, shall implement this resolution.
1. Comelec Resolution No. 9582. Download PDF Version [.pdf] [328 KB]