Vote-buying worse -- Comelec

Comelec main office

ON the eve of the mid-term polls, the Commission on Elections noted that vote buying in this year’s elections is worse compared to the previous elections in 2016.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said more vote-buying incidents were reported this year.

“Mas mukhang malala ngayon kaysa 2016. Di ko lang alam kung ito dahil marami lang nahuli, pero sa reports talagang mas marami ngayon,” she said.

Guanzon also noted that the amount of bribe has increased this year, adding that they received reports that P1,000 to P1,500 is being offered in exchange for votes.

“Saan ba galing ang mga pera na yan? Kung tutuusin, wala namang presidential candidate. Ibig sabihin, lokal to,” she said.

The poll body official said no senatorial candidate has been linked to vote- buying this year so far. According to her, all of the reports that they received only involved local candidates.

Because of vote-buying, Guanzon said, voters’ minds became corrupt. The widespread incidents of vote-buying have desensitized the voters to the illegality of such practice.

“Na-corrupt na yung utak ng mga voters na normal yan. Papaano nilang hindi sasabihin na ‘normal ‘yan, kapag eleksyon, talagang meron,’” she said.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said more than 80 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in vote- buying and selling in Metro Manila.

They may face one to six years imprisonment, disqualification from holding public office, and disenfranchisement or deprivation of their right to vote.