P1-M cash for vote buying seized in Zamboanga del Sur
PAGADIAN CITY, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, Philippines — With just two days before the May 13 midterm elections, bundles of money in varying denominations totaling P1.056 million, believed to be intended for vote buying, were found abandoned in Barangay Dapiwak in Dumingag town in Zamboanga del Sur early on Saturday, authorities said.
The money, placed inside a paper bag, was found beside an empty house shortly before noon by soldiers who were responding to an anonymous phone alert they received at around 9 a.m., according to 1st Lt. Abner Pilando, commander of Alpha Company of the 97th Infantry Battalion, which is based in Dumingag.
According to the anonymous phone caller, armed men had been harassing residents of Barangay Dapiwak.
A report released by the 97th IB said the armed men reportedly scampered away, leaving behind the money, when they saw that soldiers on patrol were approaching the area.
The soldiers, who belong to Alpha Company, recovered in the same paper bag a sheet of paper containing what appeared to be a distribution list for the cash, broken down as follows:
- P2,000 for 488 voters, or a total of 976,000
- P10,000 for the chairman of the Board of Election Canvassers (BEC)
- P3,000 for each of the 13 BEC members, or a total of 39,000
- P100 each for 142 household leaders, totaling P14,200
- P500 for CVO head
- P200 each for 25 CVO members, for a total of P5,000
- P2,000 each for six poll watchers
The sheet of paper carried the heading “Republic of the Philippines / PROVINCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR / Municipality of Dumingag Barangay Dapiwak.”
The 9th IB will turn over the money to the Dumingag Municipal Police Station, according to Pilando.
The source of the money remained unknown as of this writing.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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