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PIA Press Release

Liquor ban violators to be punished – Comelec

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (14 January) -- It will 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 country from May 9 to May 10, 2010.

"May 9 is the day before the election while May 10 is election day and during this period, the liquor ban will be in force and in effect," Atty. Renato A. Magbutay, Regional Election Director of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), region 10, said.

Pursuant to Comelec Resolution 8730, promulgated last Dec. 23, violation of the said prohibited acts is punishable with imprisonment of not less than one (1) year but not more than six (years) and not be subject to probation.

"In addition, the guilty party will suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation," Magbutay said.

He said the liquor ban exempts hotels and other establishments which are duly certified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists, provided they secure prior written authority from the Comelec.

However, only foreign tourists taking intoxicating liquor in said authorized hotels or establishments are exempted from the prohibition, Magbutay clarified.

The exemption may be granted upon compliance and submission of a request, under oath, and must contain a statement that the hotel / establishment operators / owners have not been convicted for an election offense.

Meanwhile, the exemption may be revoked or withdrawn by the Comelec upon petition of any interested party on showing, among others, that the reason upon which the exemption was made does not exist or is not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.

Magbutay said the liquor ban will be implemented by the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors, Election Officers and the Comelec Election Laws Enforcement Teams, if any, fielded by the Comelec in specific areas. (PIA 10) [top]

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