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Comelec warns election candidates of disqualification for vote buying

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections has warned candidates in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections of possible disqualification if proven to have engaged in vote buying.

“They pick a place tapos lahat ng tao pinapapunta doon sa lugar na yun pagpasok walang dala paglabas bitbit na ang groceries or whatever,” Comelec Director James Jimenez said.

(They pick a place then send people there. They go inside empty-handed but come out carrying groceries or whatever.)

The poll body encourages the public to report any activity that violates the election code on the day of the election but discourages citizen arrest.

“That’s not something that we encourage because it would put people in harm’s way,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez assured that all reports or complaints will be properly investigated especially incidence of vote buying since it is easier nowadays to fabricate evidence.

“[If] you send us a picture or a small card that has a candidate’s name on it with a paper clip and P500, it doesn’t mean anything. Why? Anyone can make that,” he explained.

Comelec reminds candidates that under the Omnibus Election Code, vote buying or vote selling is considered an election offense. It prohibits offers or promises of “money or anything of value” or “gives or promises any office or employment, franchise or grant” in exchange of votes.

The law says any person found guilty of an election offense shall be punished with imprisonment of one to six years, shall be disqualified to hold public office and shall be deprived of the right of suffrage. – Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Ex-poll chief defends Comelec over fraud allegations

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

Former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes (third from the right)

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes and a poll watchdog engaged in a heated argument  on Monday (August 6) during a Senate inquiry on the alleged irregularities in the 2016 national elections.

Brillantes questioned the claims of Poll watchdog Tanggulang Demokrasya that the election was rigged citing an image presented by Atty. Glenn Chong, the accuser of the poll irregularities, on alleged selling of voters’ database in 2015.

“Ang nagbebenta po nito dating election officer ng Maragondon, Cavite ( A former election officer in Maragondon, Cavite is selling [voters’ database]),” said Chong.

But Brillantes urged the group to present more credible evidence to prove their claims.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggested that Comelec should investigate the matter as he has been receiving reports from different parts of the country about the alleged ballot selling.

“May mga nagbanggit sa akin, taga Nueva Ecija, taga Iloilo, na inaalok ng kung anu anong mga sistema na imbestigahan talaga ng Comelec iyan (People from Nueva Ecija and Iloilo have mentioned to me about different systems being offered that Comelec really should investigate.)  ,” Sotto said

Sotto said he will force the poll body to disclose its audit logs to determine the transmission activities involving the vote counting machines prior to the election day and to confirm if there was any irregularity that happened.

“The Office of the Senate President, thru the Committee will issue subpoena duces tecum,” he added.

The issue remained unresolved as there are still a lot of things that the Comelec should explain regarding the allegations, according to Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms Chairman Aquilino Pimentel III.

“Marami talagang pangyayari na dapat ipaliwanag ng Comelec (Comelec has a lot to explain). Some maybe glitch but still we need an explanation from the Comelec, bakit nangyayari ito (why these things are happening),” he said. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

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SOCE filing deadline today, June 13 – Comelec

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – Today, June 13, is the last day for filing the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) of all candidates in the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminds all concerned to submit their respective SOCEs until this afternoon as the poll body will no longer provide an extension of filing.

The submission of SOCE is in accordance with Section 14 of R.A. 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections which requires all winning and losing candidates to file their respective SOCE 30 days after the election day.

Elected officials who fail to submit SOCE will be disqualified. – UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec: Vote buying tops election offenses in 2018 barangay, SK polls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

(Photo by: PHOTOVILLE International)

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Election (Comelec) reported that the most prevalent election offense in the recently concluded barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election, May 14, was vote buying.

Comelec command center particularly noted the massive vote buying in the province of Aklan.

Authorities arrested a suspected vote buyer in possession of 10 envelopes, each containing a complete line up of candidates and enclosed with P300.

“Noong binuksan iyong bag, puno ng pera so that person was taken to the Task Force Office at pino-proseso na siya. Hinihintay namin na ma-submit ang pangalan ng involved for an election offense, Comelec Spokesperson Dante Jimenez said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) agreed that incidents of vote buying were rampant during the elections.

“In other parts of the country especially sa Region 4A. may naaresto diyan na walo because of vote buying activities – one in Lucena, in Calamba and Calauag…Isa recently suspected vote buying activity sa may Taguig,” said PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

Aside from vote buying, the PNP also recorded a number of election offenses in some areas in Metro Manila and various provinces such as violation of the Comelec gun ban and liquor ban as well as harassments.

Comelec is encouraging the public to report such incidents to authorities so that appropriate actions can be taken against those responsible especially the involved candidates for election.

“File them directly sa Comelec so we can quickly act on those complaints,” said Acting Comelec Chair Al Parreno.

Based on the Omnibus Election Code, a candidate accused of vote buying cannot be automatically disqualified from election. However, once proven guilty of such and other election offenses, a newly elected official will be removed from office. — Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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