The Department of Justice successfully prosecuted two cases involving violations of Election laws.
In a six-page Decision, the Lingayen, Pangasinan Regional Trial Court (RTC)—Branch 37 found Marvin Portugal, Epifanio Inocencio, Jr., Mark Anthony Rutor and Jhonny Ngayayen guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Violation of Section 261 (dd) (1) of Batas Pambansa 881 (Liquor Ban).
The said court sentenced each of the accused to suffer imprisonment of from two years and one day to three years with the accessory penalties of disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of their right of suffrage.
The five were caught drinking intoxicating liquor in Brgy. Sual, Pangasinan, on 27 Oct. 2013, a day prior to the 28 Oct. 2013 Barangay Elections, which is covered by the Liquor Ban.
In another case, the Cabugao, Ilocos Sur Regional Trial Court - Branch 24 found Edison Mangrubang guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Violation of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 9561-A (Firearms Ban for the May 2013 Elections). He was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate sentence of from one year to two years and disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.
Mangrubang was caught carrying a homemade shotgun without prior written authority from the COMELEC outside his residence or place of business in Brgy. Namnama, Sinait, IlocosSur, on 01 May 2013, which was within the election period and the firearms ban for the May 2013 Elections.
Justice Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas commended the Office of the Regional Prosecutor of Region 1 for securing the conviction for both cases. He also reminded the public to "strictly follow elections laws as they impose heavy penalties like forfeiture of political rights, including the rights to hold public office and of suffrage."