As campaign hits homestretch, Comelec warns of vote-buying surge
MANILA, Philippines—As the campaign season reaches the homestretch, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has warned the public on a possible surge in vote-buying activities.
In a press briefing Friday, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted that vote-buying has been part of the country’s “election culture” especially in the lead-up to election day.
“You’ll also see an increase in vote-buying activities. It’s already almost part and parcel of election culture in the Philippines that one of the biggest stories that will pop up maybe two-three days before the elections is that some quarters will be holding massive saturation drives dedicated to vote-buying,” Jimenez said.
“Ang mga kwento diyan big trucks will come, people arrive at the dead of night and start knocking on doors and giving money etc.,” he added.
The Comelec official urged the public to immediately report to the authorities any vote-buying activities in their area. /muf
“So paalala sa mga botante, if you want to help resolve that situation, please ang unang tungo ninyo ay sa kapulisan o sa local Comelec. Magsumbong kayo agad na mayroon kayong natunugan, meron kayong narinig, nasabihan kayo na magkakaroon ng ganung klaseng activities at isumbong niyo agad sa pulis,” he said.
On May 13, more than 61 million registered voters are expected to flock to their polling precincts to cast their votes for 12 senators and respective mayors, vice mayors, representatives, and councilors, among other local elective positions. Polling precincts will open as early as 6 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m.
Jimenez added that in the last 10 days of the campaign period, they expect a spike in election activities specifically in the local levels.
Hopefully, he said this will not result in violence as supporters and the “atmosphere” intensify.
“So nananawagan po kami sa mga LGU (local government units), sana maayos natin ‘yung mga procedures. Especially in terms of the use of roads, sana mapag-planuhang maigi,” he said.
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