Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting helpless against poll violations

THE Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a civilian organization that seeks to ensure fair election, has admitted that it has no power to stop violations committed by candidates and that vote-buying is the hardest to prevent.

In a news forum in Manila, PPCRV executive director Maribel Buenaobra said the group is even entertaining the idea of proposing to the Commission on Elections to declare a curfew at midnight before election day in order to prevent leaders of candidates from giving money to residents in exchange for their votes as has been the practice.

She said that vote-buying is hard to prove and Comelec has no means of getting solid proof of vote-buying transactions since no receipt is given.

Buenaobra added their group cannot do anything about the massive election violations being committed especially by moneyed candidates, even before the official beginning of the campaign period.

The violators, she said, take advantage of loopholes in election laws and indiscriminately put up campaign materials bearing their names and photo-shopped pictures but without the word ‘vote’, which makes them technically allowed.

Buenaobra said laws must be created to put an end to this illegal practice which works against the poor candidates who have no chance to compete with rich and powerful rivals.