MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar has warned the public against the possibility of digital or cashless vote buying activities in line with the 2022 national elections.
“Hindi po malabong mangyari ito dahil nakagawian na rin po ang cashless transactions lalo ngayong may pandemya. Talagang maiisip ito ng mga taong nagpaplanong manghikayat sa publiko na ibenta ang kanilang boto,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Monitoring vote-buying activities in the 2022 elections will really be a great challenge to us but I assure the voting public that we will put in place safeguards against this practice,” he added.
Eleazar said the PNP will consult with concerned agencies, including the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), to create mechanisms to counter vote-buying via electronic money transfer services.
“Bubuo po tayo ng mekanismo hinggil dito. Pero magiging malaking tulong po kung tayo mismo ang magsumbong sa mga otoridad ng mga ganitong gawain,” he said.
The PNP chief urged voters not to engage in this kind of activity and immediately report to authorities any information about individuals using this form of electoral fraud.
Vote-buying and vote-selling are violations under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, he said.
“I urge the public to be vigilant and report to authorities if they have information on vote-buying done through online platforms,” he said.
“Tulungan ninyo kaming mapanatiling malinis at maayos ang gagawing halalan,” he added.
Filipino voters will elect a new president and vice president, along with lawmakers and local government officials, in the upcoming polls set to be held on May 9, 2022.