Robredo calls on Comelec to act on tampering, vote buying reports
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to check and act on reported disturbing incidents that may affect the credibility of the May 13 elections.
“Ako, inaasahan natin na dahil iyong Comelec iyong implementing arm na kailangan nagpapatupad ng ating mga election laws, tututukan ito, kasi pinakamahalaga na hindi lang malinis iyong eleksyon, pero talagang alam ng mga tao na wala silang dapat ikatakot,” she told reporters in Nueva Ecija on Monday.
The Vice President’s statements came amid rumors of irregularities and supposed tampered ballots, especially after ballot boxes delivered in Pasig City allegedly had torn seal stickers. Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez, however, clarified that it was the seal of the delivery van which was broken and not the seal of ballot boxes.
In Baguio, there were reports that police officers entered a Comelec facility without the knowledge of poll officials. Cordillera police have denied these issues, while Jimenez has reiterated that law enforcers are not allowed inside Comelec sites.
According to Robredo, she hopes the poll-governing body would act on these developments, including accusations of rampant vote-buying.
“Binasa ko, binasa ko iyong statement ng Comelec, sabi nila hindi totoo iyong tampered ballots. Nag-promise sila na iimbestigahin pa din. Iimbestigahin din iyong pagpasok ng police personnel sa isang warehouse sa Baguio, na bawal iyon dahil kailangan mayroong Comelec official na present, hindi yata nasunod,” she said.
“Marami na ngayon—which is usual—marami nang mga reports na kung ano-anong mga violations. Iyong pinaka-bothersome dito iyong rampant talaga na vote-buying, na sana mahinto na ito,” she added.
Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde admitted that they have already received reports of vote-buying in various areas. He urged the people to report these cases to the police, saying that they will try their best to solve these cases.
As for Robredo, she and the Otso Diretso slate will campaign against candidates who court voters using money.
“Kami, kinakampanya namin na lalong bumibili ng boto, lalong huwag iboto, para mahinto na. Kasi kung iyong mga bumibili ng boto hindi naman nananalo, ito iyong pinakamalaking deterrent para hindi ito maging kultura. Pero iyon talaga iyong given fact, na grabe talaga,” Robredo said.
“Sana magampanan ng Comelec iyong paghinto ng ganitong practice. Kati kapag hinayaaan kasi ito na magpatuloy lang, gustong sabihin iyong puwede na lang manalo sa eleksyon iyong mga mayayaman, iyong mga puwedeng na lang manalo sa eleksyon iyong mga makapangyarihan,” she explained./ac
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