What is COMELEC<br />The Commission on Elections, or COMELEC, is one of the three constitutional commissions of the Philippines. Its principal role is to enforce all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections, initiatives, referendums, and recalls.<br />
Judicial Functions<br />to exercise exclusive jurisdictions over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city officials and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving all municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction;<br />to decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters;<br />to file petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; and<br />to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election fraud, offenses and malpractices<br />
Ministerial Functions<br />To enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of and elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referendum, and recalls;<br />to deputize, with the concurrence of the President of the Philippines, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful credible elections;<br />to register political parties, organizations or coalitions and accredit citizens' arms of the Commission.<br />
Reportorial Function<br />To submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall.<br />
Recommendatory Functions<br />To recommend to Congress the enactment of effective measures to minimize election spending including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidates; and<br />to recommend to the President the removal of any officer of employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision.<br />
Other Functions<br />To perform other functions as may be provided by law, including fiscal autonomy.<br />
ZTE Broadband Contract Controversy<br />In August 2007, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla delivered a privilege speech alleging that Abalos brokered for the national broadband network (NBN) project. Padilla claimed that Abalos met with officials of the Chinese firm ZTE Corp., which got the US $329 million contract for the broadband project.<br />Abalosdenied brokering for the National Broadband Network project despite admitting he knows some officials in ZTE Corp. He admitted making four trips to China and playing golf there. He also admitted that ZTE officials, whom he says are his golf buddies, hosted and paid for the trips.<br /> Jose de Venecia III, son of House Speaker Jose de VeneciaJr, alleged that Abalos offered him US$10 million to withdraw his proposal on the NBN project. De Venecia is a majority shareholder of Amsterdam Holdings Inc., a company that submitted an unsolicited proposal on the NBN project. De Venecia also claimed that Abalos asked for money from the ZTE Corp. officials.<br />
Hello Garci<br />Abaloswas mentioned in the "Hello Garci" tape, which refers to the alleged wiretapped conversations where vote rigging in the 2004 elections was discussed by, among others, a woman presumed to be President Arroyo and man presumed to be Comelec Commissioner VirgilioGarcillano.<br />
Mega Pacific<br />Abaloswas the Comelec chair when the election body approved a P1.3-billion contract with the Mega Pacific Consortium for the purchase of automated counting machines, which the Supreme Court in January 2004 declared as void because of "clear violation of law and jurisprudence" and "reckless disregard of [Comelec's] own bidding rules and procedure."<br /> On January 21, 2004, Pimentel filed criminal and administrative charges before the Ombudsman against Abalos and other commissioners in connection with the deal. Abalos described the charges as a "demolition job."<br /> Pimentel accused Abalos and the other commissioners of committing an act of impropriety when they and their wives traveled to Seoul, South Korea to visit the plant of the maker of the counting machines a few months before the bidding for the contract started. Pimentel said he received information that the Korean company paid for the plane tickets and hotel accommodations for the trip.<br /> However, Abalos claimed that the expenses for the trip were paid for out of the P1 million he won in a golf tournament in WackWack.<br /> On September 27, 2006, the Ombudsman, in a resolution, absolved all respondents involved in the Mega Pacific controversy of all administrative and criminal liabilities "for lack of probable cause." It also reversed its June 28 resolution which contained factual findings that can be used by the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against Comelec Commissioner ResureccionBorra.<br />
Members of Commission On Election<br />Chairman Atty. Sixto S. Brillantes<br />Rene V. Sarmiento<br />Lucenito N. Tagle<br />Armando C. Velasco<br />Elias R. Yusoph<br />Christian Robert S. Lim<br />Augusto C. Lagman<br />
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