Even as the “Anti-Epal” bill proposed by Sen. Miriam Santiago sleeps in limbo, lawyer Elly Velez Pamatong wants Davao City First District Representative Karlo Nograles punished for plastering his face and name in government vehicles and in signboards of government projects.
The so-called Anti-Epal bill is the bill authored by Santiago— Senate Bill No. 1967—formally titled An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project—that penalizes politicians who affix their names and faces on government properties and projects.
Pamatong said Nograles committed corruption, vandalism and constructive malversation, among others, for his “malicious act of plastering public parks, walls, streets, basketball courts, public vehicles and buildings, with his name and face” to gain undue political mileage at the expense of people’s money.
Pamatong, who, with former Vice Mayor Luis Bonguyan, is contesting Nograles’ reelection in next year’s polls, said Nograles violated election laws on “fair election process.”
He has filed a complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, seeking prosecution of Nograles or his disqualification from running in the May 2013 elections.
In his complaint filed on November 3, 2012, Pamatong accused Nograles of betrayal of public trust in violation of Article XI, Sec. 3 of the Constitution, dishonesty in violation of Article 19 of the Civil Code, graft and corruption for placing his name in government projects and properties, for violation of election laws on fair campaigning.
Pamatong also slammed Nograles for his government-sponsored television show that he described as a “hypnotizing and brainwashing apparatus” that “subliminally conditioned voters into deifying Nograles as the political gods of the First District.”
He likened Nograles’ television program to “brainwashing technique used by Mao Tse Tong, Hitler and other megalomaniacs who despicably stained the pages of human history.”
While Senate Bill No. 1967 sleeps the sleep the dead in the Senate, its House version is suffering the same torment, gathering dust in the Lower House.
The House version- House Bill 2309—is authored by Bayan Muna representatives Teodoro Casiño and Neri Colmenares.
But Amatong is apparently aware he cannot tie down Nograles under the Anti-Epal bill and has sought his disqualification from running in the coming elections under the provisions of the Constitution, the Civil Code and the Omnibus Election Act.