Issue of May 12, 2019
     
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Public urged to report vote-buying to agencies
by DILG release

The Department of the Interior and Local Government called on the public to report incidents of vote-buying to the Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police, or the National Bureau of Investigation in compliance with the directive of the Comelec Task Force Kontra Bigay led by Commissioner Al Parreño.

The interagency Task Force Kontra Bigay is led by the Comelec with the DILG, PNP, NBI, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) as members.

DILG Usec. and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the Comelec created the task force in response to numerous reports received by the election body, the police, and DILG field offices of vote-buying incidents in several areas of the country.

Malaya said. “To stop vote-buying, the public must do its part and help the government. If we are really serious about solving this problem, everyone must be proactive and do their part in solving what has become a mockery of our democracy and a social menace.”

He reminded the public that vote buying and vote selling are prohibited under the Omnibus Election Code, which provides that “any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value…in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate in a convention or similar selection process of a political party.”

On the other hand, vote-selling is committed when voters sell or receive money in exchange of their votes for or against any candidate.

Mabigat po ang parusa kapag napatunayang bumibili o ipinagbibili ninyo ang inyong boto: pagkakakulong ng hanggang anim na taon at diskwalipikasyon sa paghawak ng tungkulin sa gobyerno,” Malaya said.

The DILG, with the help of Comelec, has prepared a standard complaint form to be filled out by those who want to report any incident of vote buying.

“The template form, which we will distribute to the public, must be notarized and submitted to the Comelec, PNP, or NBI office nearest you,” he said.

“Vote buying is a serious allegation with electoral and criminal liabilities. Hindi po ito report-report lang o tawag tawag lang. If you are serious in reducing vote buying, then you must fill out this form, swear to it before a notary public, and support your complaint with evidences,” he said.

The DILG will help the Comelec in conducting the information drive against vote buying while the Comelec, PNP, NBI, and IBP will help in the investigation and filing of cases.

“Our call is for the public to help the government ensure an honest and peaceful elections and choose officials who are matino, mahusay, at maaasahan. We likewise urge the candidates and their supporters as well as the voters not to resort to vote buying and vote selling as these make a mockery of our electoral process and our democracy,” he said.


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