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