Arroyo rival claims Pinedas on ‘technical vote-buying’
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO— The rival of reelectionist Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday claimed that Gov. Lilia Pineda and her son and running mate, Dennis, have committed what she called “technical vote-buying” in the province.
“They’re getting at least 100 poll watchers per purok (area), per zone and per sitio (sub-village),” lawyer Vivian Dabu, Liberal Party candidate for representative of the second district, said in an e-mailed letter to the Inquirer.
Dabu said this was against election rules since only two poll watchers were allowed per precinct. She said each poll watcher was paid between P300 and P1,000 a week.
The Pinedas denied Dabu’s claim in separate interviews. “I have been working hard as governor and my administration’s accomplishments speak well of my leadership,” the governor said in Kapampangan. “She shouldn’t be accusing me of that.”
Her son, Dennis, described the allegation as financially improbable. “How can we be paying all those people?” he asked.
There are 1,647 clustered precincts in Pampanga, according to lawyer Fernando Cot-om, provincial election supervisor.
Dabu claimed that in San Pablo 2 village in Lubao town, the Pinedas allegedly hired 90 poll watchers, based on information she received on Thursday.
“Barangay officials are actively getting the watchers and campaigning for them, even joining their motorcades,” said Dabu, who served as provincial administrator during the stint of former Gov. Eddie Panlilio in 2007. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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