Serving ‘lechon, pancit’ could be vote-buying


The way to a man’s—or woman’s—heart may be through the stomach but candidates should be forewarned that serving the voting public food and drink on the eve of Election Day may well be construed as vote-buying.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday said giving away food such as the pork dish lechon or the feast day staple pancit to voters on the eve of the elections is something that could fall under vote-buying.

The Comelec said it was mulling over coming out with a measure that will reduce, if not totally eradicate, the practice of vote-buying among candidates during the May elections.

But Brillantes said the election body will keep it under wraps and will roll it out not more than 10 days before Election Day to avoid preempting their plan.

Secret plan

“This will serve as a warning on vote-buying,” Brillantes told reporters in an interview yesterday.

“My colleagues in the Comelec and I are planning something… we are studying constitutional issues on the matter. But if it pushes through, we won’t have a problem anymore with vote-buying,” he said.

Brillantes said it was possible that the en banc would issue a resolution on the matter, which would take effect a week or so before May 13, the country’s second automated elections.

“If I reveal what it is now, our plan will be futile. Because vote-buying is really being used a few days before the elections, usually two days or on the eve of the balloting,” he said.

Propaganda gadgets

The Comelec chief also reminded candidates that while “electoral propaganda gadgets” such as lighters, fans, pens, mugs, candies and umbrellas can be distributed during their campaign, giving away “something of value” can be considered vote-buying.

He defined vote-buying as giving away money or anything valuable for the purpose of getting a vote.

Giving away lighters, cigarettes, umbrellas and shirts are already allowed for campaign purposes after Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Elections Act repealed a provision in the Omnibus Election Code declaring as unlawful the “purchase, manufacture, request, distribution or acceptance” of electoral propaganda gadgets, Brillantes noted.

The Omnibus Election Code identified propaganda gadgets as pens, lighters, fans, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, shirts, hands, bandanas, matches and cigarettes.

“These materials are no longer prohibited in the course of the campaign as long as they are freely given as campaign materials and they will reflect as part of the candidates’ expenses,” said Brillantes.

“But if you use that close to the elections, we can classify it as vote-buying,” he said.

He said it has been difficult for the Comelec to go after candidates engaging in vote-buying. “That’s why up to now, no one has been jailed for it… but I will send someone soon, as long as there is evidence,” he said.

Fair play

Brillantes said all are bound by the rules of fair play when it comes to campaign regulations.

The Comelec chief made this statement as he took offense over insinuations of a party-list group that the election body was turning a blind eye on violations of campaign rules and regulations supposedly by candidates close to President Aquino.

Calling the Kabataan party-list’s remarks “uncalled for,” he urged the group to shut up and start complying with the poll body’s “common poster area” rule by removing its illegal posters scattered across Metro Manila.

“With all due respect to Mr. Terry Ridon of the Kabataan party-list, Comelec will never be selective in implementing our campaign rules,” said Brillantes on his Twitter account.

The Comelec chief said in an interview on Friday that it was better for the group to just follow the law and stop jumping to conclusions.

He also encouraged the group to provide the election body evidence on their allegations so that it could act on it. “If they will just be all noise, we can’t do anything about their complaint,” said Brillantes.

During a surprise inspection on Wednesday, the Comelec spotted posters of the group illegally plastered along plant boxes on Taft Avenue in Manila and inside Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Posters belonging to party-list groups Buhay, AkapBata and Gabriela were also seen in prohibited areas. Banners bearing the face of Team PNoy’s senatorial candidate Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara were also seen hanging from electric posts on Quirino Highway.


Intensified drive

In a statement, Kabataan party-list said it has already called on its volunteers and supporters to adhere to the Comelec rules. Efforts to remove illegally placed posters have also started, according to Ridon.

“For their part, Comelec should also intensify the information drive regarding designated campaign posting areas,” said Ridon.

“We ask Comelec not to go after small fish while turning a blind eye [over] violations made by those with big names and those close to the President. Their effort to regulate campaigning will be useless if it exempts allies of the President and big families from the rules,” he added.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez also reiterated yesterday that under Comelec Resolution No. 9615, candidates are allowed to put up their posters in designated common poster areas “but at their own expense.”

“They will have to spend for the structure where they can mount their posters,” said Jimenez.

Warning to poll execs

According to the resolution, parties and candidates may put up common poster areas in every barangay. “One common poster area is allowed in a barangay with 5,000 registered voters or less. An additional designated area will be allowed for every increment of 5,000 voters,” said Jimenez.

He also warned that the Comelec will go after erring election officers who fail to inform candidates and voters of the location of designated common poster areas in their respective areas.

“While the list of common poster areas are placed outside local Comelec offices, election officers should make an effort to ensure that [these] are known to the candidates and the public… failure to do so shall make him liable for gross neglect of duty,” added Jimenez.

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  • Jane Tan

    So, what’s new… how do you think Erap became president in the first place… I mean, aside from some stupid voters who thought a highschool drop-out would be capable of running an entire country.

    • Mamerto

      NOW he thinks, he is capable of, and “Qualified to” run as Mayor of Manila.

      This will “test the truth of the belief” that Manila-voters are the most intelligent and independent in the whole of the Philippines.

      • Jane Tan

        I have a suspicious belief that a majority of them are dumber than rocks. No offense to those who think before they vote.

      • boldyak

        ang mga taong boboto ay karamihan umaasa sa mga pangako ng mga politiko na magkaroon sila ng sarili nilang lupa at bahay….that is a clear vote buying…na ang mga taong tamad ay boboto dahil nagbabakasakaling tutuparin ang mga pangako ng mga hinayupak na mga politko…


    HUWAG ninyong PANSININ yang mga pinamimigay na SUHOL ng mga TNL na pulitekerong yan na sa INYO din manggagaling sa bandang huli……dahil pag binoto ninyo ang mga TNL na MANUNUHOL na yan at nanalo…BABAWI-IN nila ang lahat at may tongpats na 10,000% sa pamamagitan ng pagnanakaw, pangungulimbat at pandarambong.

    Huwag ninyong palabasin na kayo ay ganyan ka-daling mabili…na sa pancit, lechon, at sigarilyo, i-susuko ninyo ang kapangyarihang walang katumbas na salapi o anupaman.

    PERO, wala din namang masama sa pagtanggap ng kung anupaman ang kanilang i-abot…. tapos, huwag iboto lalo na yong nag-aabot.

  • txtman








  • speaksoftlylove

    “Serving lechon, pancit could be vote buying” but serving pork n barrel is not vote buying. Brilliant, Brillantes.

    • Jane Tan

      Thus, we can also conclude that offering them an entrance ticket to Heaven could be vote buying too.

  • Katrine

    Kayo naman, masyadong malisyoso..Pati ba naman pagkain bibigyan pa ng malisya..Hay.Para lang maisulat..


    hindi nga marunong magpakakad ng bansa si erao pero naparunong gumawa ng pera. pasensya na kung irrelevant itong post ko. sagot ko lang ito sa isang nag post.

  • Paul

    hmmmm. Let’s not overreact on this issue. Instead, we should concentrate more on looking/researching on our candidates track record/achievements. I don’t think serving food is considered as vote-buying. C’mon! It’s food.

  • Castronaut

    I like the fact that COMELEC is taking this seriously but of course they should give chance to the candidate to explain themselves. Malay natin, kagagawan lang ng kalaban na i sabotage sila. Diba?

  • rapas_gamrud

    Ang Comelec walang pinagkaiba sa mga kandidato na mahilig mangako tuwing eleksyon. Lagi na lang sinasabi tuwing eleksyon kakasuhan nila ang mga lumalabag sa batas pero nungka since time na nagkaisip ako ni wala pang isang nakulong samantalang kaliwat kanan ang paglabag tuwing eleksyon. Kung maging patas ang Comelec at ipatupad ang batas na may pangil palagay ko maraming titinong mga politiko at ganun din sa mga botanteng walang pakialam sa kinabukasan. 

  • regd

    It’s called FOOD you ….#$*@* barbiedoll …. writer!

  • $17531445

    Oh  c’mon, if Comelec cannot even go after politicians who actually buy votes with cash, how much more with those serving lechon or pancit especially after these have been consumed thereby consuming , and consequently, obliterating the evidence?  Is Comelec being cute?

  • Torogi

    The Comelec is a lame duck, all it does is quack. History shows that this agency has been under the control of the rich and powerful.

    • Jane Tan

      (continuation)… to do nothing but quack.

  • Rathbumo

    Puro ngakngak lang naman itong si Brillantes. Ang daming violators ng Fair Elections Act pero wala pa naman siyang napa-desqualify. Tangnang matanda ito, pera pera din.

  • Mamerto

    1) “…giving away food… … to voters on the eve of the elections is something that could fall under vote-buying.”
    2) “…giving away “something of value” can be considered vote-buying.”

    ARE THE above, accurate statements coming from the Comelec Head.?
    IF SO…, these are “ambiguous rulings…, susceptible to
    “SELECTIVE implementation of the LAW”.

  • zeroko

    Finally, there “seems to be light”: at the end of the tunnel. The Comelec finally is doing it’s mandated duty, to promote equal opportunty to all Candidates. The Independent Candidates like myself is getting closer to have an equal opportunity. I’m Henry E. Samonte. I was a Candidate in May 2010 election as an independent Mayor of Q.C. just like now. In May 2010, I was overwhelm to the magnitude of unfair practices and expenses done by the mayor Candidates.. Jeep fully loaded with dozens of over-size tarpaulins of the Major political party just pass me by almost where ever I go while I walk the lone road to nowhere. In January 2010,, I started introducing myself to the voters in Depress areas by foot. And it was really a baptismal of fire. I didn’t realize how big Q.C. was. Sometimes, other independent candidates sees me on the load, alone while they were riding on a 4 Expedition vehicle convoy from there political meetings. One time, one of them stopped in front of me, open the cars window, and gave me a towel. It was so hot in the middle of Summer, and the road is rocky and dusty. Then they left me alone. But I did not gave up. Many times, I feel like I am being hit by Heat Stoke. My vision gets blur and my legs would not obey me.But I persevere. 

    I just could not imagine that three days before the termination of the campaign period, even children as young a 4 years old upon learning that I was a candidate would swarm like flies, insist that I will give them something. In our Barangay, learning that I will run again, they call me nasty words like “Kulang sa pansin” and “Sira ulo.” Many just pity me for my quest to serve the government and I can read it in their eyes.. They say, our politics is base on “Pera-pera.” The bigger cash you have, the more “political coordinator: you have and the more likelihood that you will win. 

    These so called Coordinators are locals in one place who will campaign for you. You can not do away without them, but for a price. You have to have lots of money because they are the ones who will distribute the bribe money to votes. And after their candidates, the overstaying City Officials wins, these coordinators ware given a casual position in the City Hall doing nothing. And it is also very unfortunate that all Barangays in Q.C. are beholden to the City Councilors, the Vice Mayor, and the Mayor himself. City Hall has turned the entire Barangays as a big political zombies who are loyal to them. Instead of being loyal to the people and country, the trend by the Barangay is to follow the orders of their City officials regardless whether the order is legal or illegal.In May 2010 elections, all Q.C. Barangays were provided with a telescopic ladders for two purpose. The Barangay Officials are utilize to convince private residence, to post the tarpaulins of their candidate which is of course the high officials in the City Hall. Also, they post these tarpaulins to all illegal places like trees, electric wires, electric post, and etc. I was amass how well organized City Hall has turned the people into a politcal Zombies, from Senior Citizens, the youth Organizations, the Marginalized poor, TODA or tricyle drivers organization, the Home Owners ORdanization, no accredited organizaton escapes the grip and political influence of the Mayor down to the City Councilors. In May 2010 election, City Hall used a telescopic adjustable flat form similar to the Meralco flatform that extend to the upper reaches of the electric wire. The Barangay Offials were around to assist the posting of their boss up high the high tension wires..

    Where ever the Major Parties go, hordes of lap-dogs and blind followers accompanies them. Naturally you expect the Barangay in the particular place to welcome them and gather their audience. On my part, being alone, I just stand on the side and marvel how I can compete. No one ever take heed on the Comelec Code, which explicitly stated that”No government official or employees should campaign for or against a certain Candidate. In short, government employees should remain a-political. However, the Barangay Officials defies the rule and even directly seat beside the Candidates during rallies to the disadvantage of the Independent Candidates like me who just stood by helpless while Comelec and Civil Service Commission regulation is violated.

    The whole process of election seems going out of control, major candidates are the biggest violator of election  laws. Just few days before election, all barangay of Q.C. sponsored a Binggo, naturally, finance by their candidates, held in their respective Hall which is against Comelec rule that no gambling is allowed. Then again, the Barangay Officials used a giant wong or cooking ware to prepare “Pancit” noodle and gave all the members of the Community a styrofome and plastic pork and spoon. Tetra-pack soft drinks were also served. It is a sad fact that Comelec rules and regulations are wantonly violated. Right now, in our Market, Tarpaulins of the elected officials are hanging in a wire, so may of them, and our Barangay officials plays a blind eye to the violation.

    But, just as I have said, little by little, Comelec and the COA or Commission on Audit is now flexing their muscle. They are the guardians of Democracy by discouraging unfair election practices committed by trapos or traditional politicians. I hope that this time our election will remain clean, My winning or losing is immaterial as long our suffrage is respected. Another reason the Candidates violates the rules of Comelec was because of the statement of Commissioner Sixto Brilliantes that there is no violation on pre-campaigning because there is no enabling law. Ay naku. If the Commissioner says this, then he succeeded to open the floodgate of impunity.

  • Jaz

    Kung may liquor ban, gun ban, pwede kaya magkaron naman ng “electoral propaganda gadgets” ban? Let’s say bawal mamigay ng mga ganito sa mismong araw ng eleksiyon? Suggestion lang po sa Comelec.

  • $23257130

    ay grave naman ha. bawal mag pa lechon. e di wag na mag pa eleksyon. dami bawal. and dapat lang bawal abnoy. ppppppppppwwwweeeehhhhh kadiri eeeeeeewwwwwwww

  • Jose Rizal

    Oh, they forgot…Nonoy and Abad uses the same methodology to the legislators to “vote-buy” (i.e. the selective & subjective release of PORK & PERKS).

    • zeroko

      Tama ka, Pre. Kung baga, the PNoy group is a privilege few and thinks they are above the law. Alam mo ba kung saan galing a pondo before the CJ Corona impeachment?.Eto, 2 or 3 days before voting, 2.3 billion pesos was suddenly withdrawn form the Department of Agriculture which was suppose to be use for farm to market road. The withdrawal came from the approval of DBM, and even the Unsec. of Agriculture could only scratch his head what happened around his territory. He he he. 

      Before long, our Congressmen were clawing each other to sign and get their share of the pie. They signed the impeachment even without reading the reason why. Ganyan ka ganid our Congressmen are, and again, they showed their real face when they did not show up on the Freedom of INFORMATION bill. 

      Again, these salamagan will win the the election. Similar to the MOORE of Senate, the Congressmen had their share but to a lower scale..

  • karaangtawo

    And so the clusterfuck begins.

  • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    all of you should also do your share in educating the voters. :) start talking to the ordinary people you do business with and help you get through the day. stop being apathetic. we have our freedom, use it to get the government you want, not the one you complain about on a bulletin board. 

    • zeroko

      It seems futile to challenge thru election process against Q.C. Local candidates that are already well inplace in City Hall. Their political machinery is so well a well honed sword. The structure is like a root. The Mayor takes control on all the offices in Q.C. There are three Offices he directly controls. One is the Barangay Office in which all members of the entire Barangay Councils are listed (142 barangays) including their names and addresses. Next on the list is Community Relations Office where hundreds of Accredited Organization has also listed with their name and address for easy communication. Now, the last is the Senior Citizens list, thousands and thousands of them. These three branches has direct contact of the major portion of voters here in Q.C. In the Civil Relations Office, their list covers the TODA or tricycle organization, the House Owners Organization, etc. Imagine, all the Mayor will do is write a letter to the President of the Organization and presto, the President spreads out the message to all it’s members and thus the mission of information is accomplished.. Just imagine how many voters there is in one Quezon City Subdivision. 
             As independent Mayor Candidate myself, a new comer of these kind of endeavaor, I suddenly realizes that there exist a Strategic study on political campaign like how to get the financial sponsors, the topic topic and your style speak in open forum,etc. It seems your conviction to serve the people is now out of time and out of place. Instead, it is an artificial technique base on past successful political candidates experiences was compiled and turn into a learning process.
             But in spite of the modern technique use by rogue politicians,, still the people can perceive who are the real ones and the “plastics” But in the study of modern means of “deception” by studying the Strategic Campaigning, it also back fires. One of the prominent campaign manager of the Q.C. Mayor has email me and said, enough is enough. She use to speak for the Mayor, but upon realization that those political promises were merely a front, and that so much wrong is   happening around C. Hall, like splurging of tax payer’s money by the millions, she can take it and  and resign. 
             She said, her job as a political strategist runs counter to her religion. To me,  I am still learning the insidious things that non-political participants, the public does not know what hits them. To me, the Political Strategist, is merely an art of deception, the art of lying before the voters. But in our Philippine situation, it is different. Vote buying has a telling effect to those who does not resort to it.  We, the Filipinos has a long way yet before we reach an honest election. .

  • albayislands

    Mr. Brillantes, you need to educate the people that VOTE BUYING is a CRIME, is a Form of CHEATING. Selling your Vote is Selling your Soul and the Future of your children to the DEVIL POLITICIAN. POLITICIAN who take advantage of the 90% POOR FILIPINO VOTERS ALWAYS WIN by BUYING THEIR WAY TO GET ELECTED. WHAT WILL YOU EXPECT FOR A CANDIDATE WHO BUY VOTES, BRIBE VOTERS or CHEAT THEIR WAY TO GET ELECTED??? WAKE-UP PHILIPPINES if you want our country to CHANGE and PROSPER!!!  

    • ern

      statements like selling the soul,  and future to the devil,  will not get you anywhere. Use a realistic argument.
      A devil politician, if ever elected, is of course voted in by “devils”. That’s democracy at work…isn’t it?

    • zeroko

      Vote buying is deeply rooted to our tradition. A Corrupt politician know the needs of the poor. It only takes a few “silver” and the poor readily accepts the bribe and vote in favor of the bribe-giver. The poor always call election as “pera-pera lang.” As early eight months before campaign period, these political propaganda machine is already active. These rogue politicians uses the Barangay Council as their conduit to their neferious activities. Seemingly innocent like detributing food bags before Christmas, giving small things like LCD lights, matters most. It is conditioning the voters to be come receptive to the candidates. With tarpaulin showing the Candidates face almost daily, the “name recall” is now taking effect. Then, there is the forever existing Political Coordinators, the people in a community who list who are willing to sell their votes with a promise of cash. These Political Coordinators are sometimes members of the Barangay Council itself. I hear of Barangay tanods, “Peace officers” who were the ones who give the money. Then, the usual tarpaulins like Merry Christmas, the Happy Fiesta, the Happy Valentines, and the Happy graduation proliferates in all Q.C. Barangay. Again, the Barangay Chairman and its member, having already received their share of the bribe, in advance, just turn their back on the illegal posting of political ads.

      In Quezon City, it is already  traditional for Council memebers to attend fiestas in defiance to the Comelec restriction that they should refrain from engaging on social gathering. Then again, before Christmas eve, the Senior Citizens are treated to a “Dance” session. All these are paid by tax money. I have seen thousands of marginalized poor queuing in Q.C. Hall to get their share of the food bags. And the Coordinators, the bribe givers are around to Shepherd their intended voter victims.. Almost all electoin period is merely a rehash of the previous election. Same corrupt system plays repeated so many times.

    • ed_nique

      i have this funny feeling that we are not making any headway discouraging vote buying during elections because the ordinary voters do not consider this as being waged against them by it’s very name!

      maybe they think that VOTE-BUYING is illegal, but VOTE-SELLING is not. LOL

  • w4d

    Si Enrile, 400+ na sasakyan ang ipamimigay. Malalaman ito ng bayan dahil siguradong may magrereklamo kung bakit Kia lang ang natanggap niya habang ang iba ay BMW o Porsche…LOL

  • boybakal

    Lechon Kawali  and mami….would that be considered vote buying.
    At least medyo mura mura ng konti.

    How about raw…or Pork Barrel….would that constitute as vote buy too.

  • buttones

    This has been going on for ever.. Funny, I didn’t see any mention of the vote seller, the vote buyer is offering pig and pancit, the starving voter who is accepting this illegal ’bribe’ was never mentioned…are not both parties guilty? Strange that there has never been a case of a single voter ever ’selling’ his vote from day one when Quezon promised us ’hell’…very strange. Not only that all the balloons, bits of pig, t-shirts, live entertainment and what not are not bribes, they are ’considerations’ a caring act, a gift of kindness to the hoi polloi from the ever caring and concerned political butterflies…. hoi polloi from the ever caring and concerned political butterflies….

  • boldyak

    If a Politician promises the voters that they will have a chance of having their own land or houses, isn’t it VOTE BUYING?…Mr. Brillates should look into this also, madali mangako ng ganito, pero kung imbistagahan mo kung paano nila gawin walang masabi….Comelec should look into this kind of campaigning…campaign should be based on platforms, not promises…kung walang platform dapat disqualify ang candidate, the platform should be clear and the way it should be implemented should be feasible…otherwise we will have the same politicians running our country…I remembered when Erap won as president, how many thousands went to malakanyang and ask him for his promises?…all day long, people were falling inline at the gates of malakanyang…these kind of people are just waiting for somebody to promise them something and, walahhh!..he got their votes…pathetic.

  • boldyak

    campaign promises should be considered VOTE BUYING

  • josephsanchez

    people should just vote by understanding the candidates plataporma. for example, jamby madrigal’s nature involvement. i will vote for her because of those reasons. so should you

  • Garibaldi_II

    Politicians have wherewithal to make exceptions to the rules. It doesn’t matter what Mr Brillantes say in public. What matter is what politicians tell Mr Brillantes in private.

  • boybakal

    Grabe naman tong Comelec.
    Minsan lang makakatikim ng lechon sa habang buhay…vote buying pa.
    Vote buying No…Lechon eating Yes.

  • Melvin

    Padagdag ng padagdag ang mga ipinagbabawal nitong comelec. Nakakainis na! Pwede ba manghuli naman kayo ng mga pasaway na kandidato? Paglaging ganyan Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr, sayang yung 6+2 = 8 na brillantes, baka mawalan ng kinang…

  • Ed

    asus…dami disqualify ah…tingnan mo mga posters nila ang lalaki, tapos nasa mga kahoy pa….hanggang salita lang yan si brillantes…highest bidder din ang dayaan sa automation, kahit local mya dayaan din,,,,,obvious naman…

  • Ed

    si Brillantes naman kinakausap mga local candidates,,,may time pa nga sa Manila hotel sila nag usap ng isang local politicians..kakapal naman epal mga taga comelec..kuha ka ng masterlist ng voters, libo ang babayaran, kahit soft copy lang, pati yan pinag peperahan…

  • Ed

    paano naman yun mga mukha at pangalan ng polititicians na nasa mga Govertment vehicles, dapat disqualified na sila…obvious naman na nakikita ng mga taga Comelec, bakit hindi sila ang una nyong ikaso…Hanggang salita lang kayo at yun mga maliliit lang nag kandidato kaya nyo….

  • Ed

    yun ginagawa ni gov at ni mayor mga empleyado ng LGU para coordinators nila at taga bili ng boto, mga kapitan, kagawad at tanod, dapat tanggal na rin agad…

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