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Police seize P12M cash, rice, eggs in campaign vs vote-buying

05:33 AM May 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Vote-buying comes in cash and in kind, including rice and eggs.

Gen. Oscar Albayalde, the Philippine National Police chief, on Monday said that on top of the more than P12 million cash confiscated in antivote-buying operations nationwide, police also seized 22 trays of eggs and 62 sacks of rice “which [were] used for buying votes of the people.”

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The eggs were confiscated in operations in Calabarzon, while the rice was seized from supporters of candidates in the May 13 midterm elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Soccsksargen region, Albayalde told reporters at Camp Crame.

Bulk of confiscated cash

Caraga region, where 10 people were arrested and P7.976 million was confiscated, and northern Mindanao, where 17 people were held and P1.125 million was seized, accounted for the bulk of the confiscated cash.

Most number of vote buyers

Police arrested the most number of suspected vote buyers in Metro Manila at 136 and confiscated a total of P541,000.

Twenty-four people in Ilocos region, 22 in Bicol and 14 in Calabarzon were also arrested for vote-buying. Police confiscated P561,000 from the suspects in Ilocos, P400,000 in Bicol and P400,000 in Calabarzon.

Police also arrested 31 people in Eastern Visayas, 10 in Soccsksargen, 36 in ARMM, eight in Central Luzon and 26 in Western Visayas.

Albayalde said 356 people were arrested in 225 vote-buying incidents nationwide from Jan. 13 to May 14, with a total of P12.208 million cash confiscated from them.

Another 85 suspected vote buyers remained at large, he added. —Jaymee T. Gamil

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