Press Release
May 8, 2013

Money ban to hit private depositors who have nothing to do with politics

Calling it crazy and unenforceable, Sen. Ralph G. Recto today called for the immediate shelving of the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) resolution imposing a "money ban" to curb vote-buying before and during Monday's elections.

"It will have an adverse impact on business and will not stop or minimize vote-buying. It will only make it difficult for everyone transacting with banks and others when most are not involved in political activity," Recto said.

"It's a novel approach but impractical in the real world," he added.

Recto said the Comelec is treading on unconstitutional grounds by interfering with the flow of private money.

"The Comelec resolution should be immediately revoked," he said, adding that the Comelec may have just usurped the regulatory function of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Easily, he stressed, the poll body's money ban is curtailing the freedom of Juan de la Cruz to do what he wants with his hard-earned money.

"This has never been done in any part of the world -- only in the Philippines," the Recto said.

He stressed: "It will be difficult to implement. Banks and depositors may not be able to read or understand it."

Recto said the money ban is already assuming that every one with bank transaction beyond P100,000 is out to buy or rig votes.

"Why are we penalizing innocent bystanders or depositors who just want to transact their usual business unhampered and without government intervention?" the senator, who chairs the Senate ways and means panel, asked.

Aside from limiting cash withdrawals to only P100,000, the Comelec resolution also banned the "possession, transportation and/or carrying of cash" worth more than P500,000.

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