MANILA, Philippines – A candidate for governor in Ilocos Sur province filed a disqualification case against his rival Ryan Singson and other local officials Monday for alleged vote buying during a fiesta event.
Tagudin, Ilocos Sur municipal mayor Roque Versoza Jr filed his complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against incumbent congressman Ryan Luis Singson, congressional candidate Ronald Singson, and incumbent vice governor Deogracias Victor Savellano, among others.
Versoza accused them of giving at least P20,000 during the fiesta event which he said made it “more like a partisan political activity.”
“Ronald Singson … gave P10,000, congressman Ryan Luis Singson … and vice governor Savellano … each gave P5,000.” Versoza said in their statement released during the filing of the complaint.
“Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur local officials headed by incumbent mayor and re-electionist Lito Tadena gave consolation prizes. Each of them were allotted time to say a message to the audience making the fiesta event more like a partisan political activity,” he said.
The prizes were raffled off during the event which was the grand finals of a talent search contest held last April 22, 2013 in Barangay (village) Nalasin.
“Their monetary contributions had the end goal of influencing the results of the elections and taking advantage over the electorate during the event,” Versoza said.
He also gave to the Comelec a video recording during the said event.
Along with Versoza is the mayoral candidate of Sta. Maria municipality, Kristine Gapusan, who also filed a complaint against incumbent mayor Edgar Florendo also for alleged vote buying.
Gapusan claimed that Florendo was giving P1,000 per voter inside their own headquarters.
“They called voters to their headquarters and then they hold a short event and give their political speeches. Then they have three separate rooms where 20 to 30 voters are given money by Florendo,” Gapusan said.
“We managed to take a video using a hidden camera,” she said.
She said the last time she knew it happened was on March 22. She also said they have changed their system and were now going from house to house to give the money to those who have not yet received any.