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.
“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./Inquirer