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Comelec intensifies campaign vs vote buying as 2019 election nears

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 04:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is busy with its preparations for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

Aside from this, Comelec reminded the public to vote wisely and warned candidates against vote buying.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said they have coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other groups to keep an eye on said election offense.

Comelec admitted that the battle against vote buying is a tough challenge, however, their work becomes easier with reports that help identify those who are engaged in vote buying.

“Vote buying remains a problem but over the last two elections. We’ve been making advances dahil nakikipag-ugnayan tayo sa PNP and sa mga local groups ngayon ang pinanggagalingan ng reports na nakukuha natin,” said Jimenez.

Comelec explained that cash is not the sole means to buy a person’s vote.

In the previous elections, offers ranged from livestock, vegetables, sacks of rice, and grocery items.

Jimenez said a few cash is not worth handing the country’s management over to corrupt officials.

“Kahit sabihin mo ng limang libong worth of something, limang libo lang iyan hindi tatagal iyan pero iyong serbisyo na mawawala sa inyo dahil binigay niyo sa taong walang pakialam sa kapakanan ninyo. Tatlong taon niyong iindahin iyon at kung minalas-malas kayo baka ang umalit sa kaniya kamag-anak  pa rin,” said Jimenez.

Apart from cash and products, election candidates take advantage of government services to score a vote.

“We’ve also had cases of vote buying where being promised were insurance cards, and in some cases membership in government. Dole out programs, those are particularly disturbing,” said the spokesperson.

The Omnibus Election Code states that any candidate who is proven to have engaged in vote buying, may face disqualification, imprisonment and lose the right to vote. —  UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec declares entire Mindanao, other areas as 2019 poll hotspots

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 09:41 PM

Map of Mindanao | Google Maps

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday (March 19) declared the entire region of Mindanao as an election hotspot ahead of the 2019 Midterm polls.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement the decision developed in the wake of suspected poll-related incidents in the last two elections in the country, and “serious armed threats” made by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and some rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other similar groups.

Jimenez said the military and police joined the Comelec in identifying Mindanao as a hotspot under Category Red.

Other areas classified as Category Red hotspots are Jones in Isabela; Lope de Vega in Northern Samar and the entire province of Abra.

“The category red may warrant the motu propio declaration of Comelec Control over the affected area,” Jimenez said.

“The Comelec En Banc may direct the augmentation of personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the need arises,” he added.

Category Red also refers to areas where relevant government agencies declared the existence of conditions which may constitute grounds for the declaration of Comelec Control.

The PNP, AFP and Comelec follow a system of classification in determining election hotspots: category orange refers to areas where there are serious armed threats posed by domestic terror groups and other similar groups; category yellow refers to areas with history of election-related violence or the existence of intense political rivalry but without the presence of terror groups; while category green refers to areas of no security concern and are relatively peaceful.

The Midterm elections, set for May 13, 2019, are expected to be participated by more than 60 million registered Filipino voters. – Robie de Guzman

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Comelec to ship OAV ballots next week

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 7 March 2019 05:33 PM

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Dubai participates in the 2013 Philippine elections through overseas absentee voting (OAV). (Lonix Foto Grafix | PVI)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will begin shipping the election ballots abroad next week for the Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV).

Elaiza David, Director III at the Office for Overseas Voting said they already finished printing the election ballots and will begin shipping in the second week of March.

These ballots will be shipped to various posts abroad to be delivered to the overseas voters.

“Right now we have started the packing of the ballots which will be shipped to different posts to be delivered to voters overseas. These envelopes contain the ballots, instructions to voters and also the list of candidates for the 2019 elections,” David said.

Filipino voters overseas will only be voting for 12 senators and one party-list group.

Election period will be 30 days beginning April 13 and will end on May 13, Philippine time.

Scheduled time for voting will depend on the host country.

According to Comelec’s data there are 1,822,173 registered overseas absentee voters in the midterm polls.

Comelec also expects a 13 percent higher turnout of overseas voters this election.

David also hopes that more overseas Filipinos will exercise their right to vote.

“In each Philippine post, there are voters’ education activities being conducted, where we also encourage overseas Filipinos to vote,” said David. —Aileen Cerrudo

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Otso Diretso continues to push for debate

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 6 March 2019 07:41 PM

Otso Diretso senatorial candidates, (L-R) Cong. Gary Alejano, Former Cong. Erin Tanada, Atty. Romy Macalintal, Atty. Pilo Hilbay and Atty. Chel Diokno, show up at Plaza Miranda for their debate challenge against Hugpong ng Pagbabago bets. The latter were no-show and were busy with their campaign in Bulacan.

Otso Diretso senatorial bets, Atty. Romuno Macalintal and Erin Tañada, started their campaign early on Wednesday at Antipolo market with other Liberal Party members in Rizal.

The opposition party reiterated their debate challenge to the administration party even though the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is already too late for it.

“I think the core function of Comelec is not only to conduct elections but more importantly, to ensure that the voters are educated when they go to the polling places,” Senatorial bet Florin Hilbay said.

Meanwhile, during the campaign rally of PDP-Laban in Abra yesterday, the party president Senator Koko Pimentel III said they are prepared to face Otso Diretso for a debate.

Even Hugpong ng Pagbabago chairperson Sara Duterte showed a positive reaction to the debate.

The Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial bets along with PDP-Laban carried out their campaign in Parañaque.

Attendees include Sonny Angara, Koko Pimentel, former MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, former BuCor chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Hugpong ng Pagbabago has no scheduled sortie on Thursday while Otso Diretso will head to General Santos and Davao City on that day . —Grace Casin

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