Bongbong Marcos to voters: Pick best bet, don’t yield to vote-buying
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged Filipinos to value their right to vote and not yield to vote-buying or vote-selling.
Following casting his vote for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in Ilocos Norte, Marcos disclosed they received reports that some barangay candidates resorted to paying constituents to vote for them.
“Well, unfortunately, meron pa ring sumusubok at nag-, umiikot lalo na ‘pag gabi. Last night, there were some reports, even here in Ilocos Norte, na may mga umiikot na namimimili ng boto para dito sa barangay elections,” the President told reporters on Monday.
(Well, unfortunately, there are still people who try and go around, especially at night. Last night, there were some reports, even here in Ilocos Norte, that people are going around buying votes for this barangay elections.)
READ: EXPLAINER: Vote-buying, selling
“Ang aking payo lang sa ating mga kababayan ay huwag niyo namang itatapon ang inyong karapatan na makapili ng mga, ng inyong mga barangay official, dahil alam ‘nyo naman na ang mga barangay official ang mga kaharap ninyo araw-araw. Ito ang mga tinatakbuhan ninyo para makatulong sa inyong problema. Kaya’t kung idadaan lang sa bayaran ay hindi kayo, mawawala ang boses ninyo, at hindi ninyo maipili kung sino ba ang dapat ba talaga na mamuno dyan sa inyong barangay,” he added.
(My only advice to our countrymen is that you should not throw away your right to choose your barangay officials because you know that the barangay officials are the ones you face every day. These are the ones you run to to help with your problem. So if you just let them buy your vote, you will lose your voice, and you will not be able to choose who should really lead your barangay.)
Marcos assured the public that they are monitoring such reports and that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is doing everything possible to stop vote-buying.
“Well, syempre lahat ‘yung mga kapulisan natin, ‘yung Comelec natin, ginagawa ang lahat para itigil na ang ganun. Pagka makatanggap kami ng report, pinapupuntahan ko kaagad [sa] pulis at saka Comelec, especially in the hotspot areas,” he said.
(Well, of course, all our police officers, our Comelec, are doing everything to stop that. When we receive a report, I ask the police and Comelec to go there, especially in the hotspot areas, immediately.)
“So we will do our part as the government, we will do our part to continue to enforce all of the laws that do not allow the use of vote-buying as the part of the campaign,” he added.
Over the campaign period for the 2023 BSKE, reports abound that barangay candidates were trying to buy votes – even utilizing available technology to send money to voters.